No Charges in Rep. Kennedy Case

Tuesday, May 16th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rep. Patrick Kennedy won't face any charges stemming from his encounter with an airport security guard, the city attorney's spokesman said Tuesday.

``The matter was satisfactorily resolved at hearing and we will take no further action,'' said Mike Qualls, spokesman for City Attorney James Hahn. ``As far as the criminal justice system is concerned this is closed.''

The Rhode Island Democrat had been accused of battery by Los Angeles International Airport security guard Della Patton, 58. She said Kennedy shoved and grabbed her on March 26 after she told him his bag was too big to fit through an X-ray scanner.

Kennedy, 32, the son of Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., expressed his ``regret that I acted rudely,'' but denied hurting the woman.

After an investigation by police, the case went to the city attorney's office, which called Kennedy and Patton to a hearing last week. Such hearings typically resolve such cases without charges being filed.

Patton's attorney, George L. Mallory Jr., said he likely will approach Kennedy about a settlement and, if those talks fail, ``we'll move forward with a lawsuit.'' He said he was not disappointed by the decision to not file charges.

Kennedy's office will release a statement later, said his press secretary, Larry Berman.

At their hearing, Kennedy and Patton viewed a surveillance videotape of the incident that police have said showed physical contact between the two. Both sides said the tape bolsters their description of the incident.

Qualls said the city attorney's office will not release the videotape.