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Courts forbid former Arlington selectwoman from hosting under-21 parties

Posted by Brock Parker  March 14, 2013 04:37 PM

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Former Arlington Selectwoman Annie LaCourt and her husband Mark Burstein have been fined $500 each and ordered not to have gatherings of anyone under 21 at their home—where police said the couple had an underage drinking party in October.

In a hearing that was not open to the public in Cambridge Wednesday, Middlesex Juvenile Court Judge Kenneth King accepted LaCourt and Burstein’s “admission” pleas to a criminal complaint charging them each with three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, said Court Clerk Paul Hartnett Thursday.

The pleas do not lead to a guilty pleas being entered into the record, and the judge ordered the case to be continued for one year, said Hartnett. If another issue arises with the couple during that span, the case could be brought back before the court.

King also ordered LaCourt and Burstein to abide by a one-year probationary order out of Middlesex District Court that forbids the couple from having gatherings of anyone under the age of 21 at their home, said Hartnett.

The couple’s attorney, Thomas Brant, could not be reached for comment Thursday. LaCourt served seven years on the Arlington Board of Selectmen before deciding not to seek re-election in the spring of 2012.

Arlington Police charged her and Burstein after discovering a party at their home on Chatham Street on Oct. 19. Police said there were 33 people at the party who were underage. Most of the teens were 17 years old, but three were 16, which led to the three charges in juvenile court, police said.

Police discovered the party after spotting a group of teens walking out of LaCourt’s home on their way to a playground at the nearby Stratton School that night. When police discovered the teens were intoxicated, they found more teens drinking beer inside LaCourt’s home, and she and Burstein were home, according to the police report.

Arlington Police said that in 2009 they had discovered a similar party at LaCourt’s home, but no charges were filed. In that incident, police spotted a drinking game of “beer pong” set up on a folding table in the front hall of the house along with several beer cans, according to a police report.

In a hearing in Middlesex District Court last Thursday, March 7, LaCourt and Burstein also admitted to sufficient facts to 33 counts of furnishing alcohol to a person under the age of 21 stemming from the October party. District Court Judge Sevelin Singleton also continued the case for one year without a finding and fined the couple a total of $1,000, according to court records.

--brock.globe@gmail.com

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