A month after pleading guilty to driving under the influence, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) now follows a strict court-ordered script that includes, among other things, weekly urine tests, twice-weekly meetings with a probation officer, near-daily Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and a weekly meeting of recovering addicts led by a Navy captain.
Kennedy, sources say, has to report to a probation officer twice a week at the Washington, D.C., courthouse complex. And on one of those days he has to, ahem, relieve himself in a cup.
And even when the Congressman isn’t checking in with the probation officers, they check in on him.
One source tells HOH that by order of the District of Columbia Superior Court, where Kennedy was sentenced last month, a probation officer accompanied by a D.C. police officer pays random visits to Kennedy’s Capitol Hill apartment on as little as 10-minutes notice.
Even on weeks when Congress is in recess and Kennedy is back in his Rhode Island district, the Congressman must return to Washington once a week for a meeting of what sounds like an exclusive group of addicts. It includes lawmakers, prominent professionals and military brass, and is led by Capt. Ron Smith, chief of psychiatry at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Smith is Kennedy’s court-ordered monitor.
As part of his guilty plea for driving under the influence of prescription drugs in his early morning May 4 car crash, Kennedy must attend weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. But sources say he has done even more, choosing to attend meetings daily since returning from his monthlong rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic for drug dependency.
Kennedy is also putting in 50 hours with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington over the course of his probationary one-year period. He already has paid a $350 fine imposed as part of the sentencing for the Ambien-induced crash.
So far, so clean.
Kennedy, Budding Author. Meanwhile, we hear that Kennedy and his AA sponsor, Republican Rep. Jim Ramstad of Minnesota, are talking about writing a book together.
Discussions are “very preliminary,” sources say, but they envision the book would compile stories by “regular” people, as opposed to politicians, about their battles with various forms of mental illness, ranging from depression and schizophrenia to alcoholism and drug dependency.
Kennedy and Ramstad, who co-chair the Addition, Treatment and Recovery Caucus, also would like to go on a national tour, in addition to writing the book, to spark a dialogue aimed at destigmatizing mental illness and promoting their mental health parity legislation.
Rove Unleashed. Getting cleared by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in that little mess about the CIA leak investigation has given Karl Rove a new lease on life. He’s not only back to the drawing board, working hard at keeping the country safe in the hands of Republicans, but he’s also back on the speaking circuit, so he can try to convince people why they should feel safer in the hands of Republicans.
Roll Call has launched a new feature, Hill Navigator, to advise congressional staffers and would-be staffers on how to manage workplace issues on Capitol Hill. Please send us your questions anything from office etiquette, to handling awkward moments, to what happens when the work life gets too personal. Submissions will be treated anonymously.