Boston city councilor Kendra Lara moves to dismiss criminal driving charges

Boston City Councilor Kendra Lara is seeking to dismiss the criminal driving charges against her related to a June car crash where she struck a house in Jamaica Plain.

Lara appeared briefly in the West Roxbury division of the Boston Municipal Court Wednesday, where her defense attorney filed a motion to dismiss.

Lara faces charges of operating an unregistered motor vehicle, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, driving with a suspended license, operating negligently and recklessly permitting bodily injury to a child.

Attorney Carlton Williams argues that Lara never properly received a citation for the charges against her, in violation of due process and state law.

"It was the obligation of the Boston Police Department to give a copy of the citation to the defendant at the time and place of the offense," the motion to dismiss reads. "This was not done."

Prosecutors pushed back on this argument in a legal filing, saying a delay is justified when additional time is needed to investigate and determine the nature of the violations.

A Boston police officer later completed a reconstruction analysis at the site of the crash, estimating Lara was driving at least 53 miles per hour on a residential street before swerving and hitting the house.

The two sides are set to argue the motion to dismiss on Oct. 20.

"I am committed to ensuring that I'm following through with the process," Lara said after the hearing. "Until then I am going to ensure that I continue serving the people of my district."

The Suffolk County District Attorney's office has also appointed a special prosecutor in the case because, a spokesman said, one of Lara's opponents for her District 6 council seat is married to one of the office's employees.

The spokesman, Jim Borghesani, said the office tapped Worcester County Assistant District Attorney Joel Luna "to avoid any appearance of a conflict."

This story was updated to include the appointment of a special prosecutor, and the reason for doing so.

This article was originally published on August 16, 2023.


Walter Wuthmann General Assignment Reporter
Walter Wuthmann is a general assignment reporter for WBUR.



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