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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Local Review

Kennedy, Airport Guard Meet at Court Hearing

May 13, 2000

LOS ANGELES — Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) and the airport guard who said he assaulted her at a security checkpoint viewed a videotape of the March incident on Friday and gave their versions of events to a hearing officer.

A decision on whether to file misdemeanor charges against Kennedy will be made in about a week, said Lawrence Webster, assistant supervisory attorney for the city attorney's office.

The two sides met at a closed-door hearing at a Superior Court office. Webster said most cases that go through such quasi-judicial hearings are settled without filing of charges.

"It appears to have been a successful meeting," Webster said at a news conference afterward.

Della Patton, 58, said Kennedy shoved and grabbed her March 26 after she told him his bag was too big to fit through an X-ray scanner at Los Angeles International Airport. She filed a battery complaint.

Rather than filing a misdemeanor battery charge, which carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine, the city attorney's office ordered Friday's hearing in hopes of resolving the case.

Kennedy, 32, the son of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), has expressed his "regret that I acted rudely," but denied hurting the woman.

Patton's attorney, George L. Mallory Jr., said his client "desires to go forward with a criminal case."

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