Prosecutor resigns following DWI case involving prominent SA businesswoman

Jacob Kemmy resigns from District Attorney's Office

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - UPDATE:

An official with the Bexar County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday that prosecutor Jacob Kemmy, who handled the case against prominent businesswoman Catherine Amato, has resigned.

Amato was arrested in February on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, and two months later, the DWI case was dismissed by Kemmy.

"Effective today, May 16, 2018, Jacob Kemmy has resigned from the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. Any statements that he makes are not reflective of Our Office," the district attorney's office said in a statement. 

ORIGINAL STORY:

The district attorney's office has reopened its case against a prominent San Antonio businesswoman who was arrested in February on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

A San Antonio police officer said he witnessed Catherine Amato commit multiple traffic violations, in one instance almost causing a collision, on Feb. 26.

The officer said Amato partially swerved into his lane, then swerved onto an improved shoulder of the highway before making at least three lane changes without signaling. The officer said a driver near Amato's vehicle switched lanes "potentially to avoid a collision."

When the officer pulled Amato over, he said he found three small bottles of vodka in her car -- one empty, one full and the other half-empty.

The officer said Amato's breath smelled of alcohol and that she had slurred speech along with an "indifferent attitude toward her circumstances."

Amato, who owns several Subway and Ruby Tuesday restaurants, is the wife of Charlie Amato, the co-founder of SWBC and a shareholder of the San Antonio Spurs.

Two months after her arrest, Amato's case was dismissed by prosecutor Jacob Kemmy.

On Monday, Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood said he was reopening the case after a review of all of the evidence.

The San Antonio Express-News first reported that the case had been dismissed at a pace County Clerk Gerry Rickhoff called "fast," telling the paper that a normal DWI cases take approximately a year.

“I was personally unaware of this situation," LaHood said. "Once this matter was brought to my attention, I had our office conduct an immediate review of all the evidence in this case. I do not agree with the manner in which the original prosecutor handled this case and arrived at his decision. As such, in the interest of justice, I have directed that (Amato's case) be refiled immediately.”

Court records show Amato's case was closed April 24 and reopened May 14.

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