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Morse cousin loses license after bike path incident

Nicholas A. Duclos, 22, a cousin of Holyoke Mayor Alex B. Morse, admitted to facts sufficient to warrant a guilty finding this week on charges of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

District Court Judge Rita Koenigs Monday continued those charges without a finding until March 13, 2015, which means providing Duclos gets in no further trouble with the law, those offenses will not be on his record.

Northampton police arrested Duclos March 8 after officers saw him make an illegal turn at a red light on Pleasant Street at 12:34 a.m. Police said after they tried to pull him over, Duclos continued driving down the street, through the Union Street parking lot and onto the Nagle Walkway overlooking Strong Avenue.

Duclos failed field sobriety tests and his blood alcohol level was found to be 0.11 and 0.12 — above the legal limit of 0.08, according to court records.

Duclos was driving Morse’s official city of Holyoke-issued car at the time.

Duclos pleaded responsible to charges of driving with a suspended license, speeding, failing to yield and driving on a city bike path. Under terms of the plea agreement, he will also complete a driver’s alcohol education program by Aug. 14.

Duclos told police that Morse had loaned him the city-owned Ford Taurus so Duclos could get pizza after the two had been drinking together at Bishop’s Lounge. But Morse said his cousin took the car without his permission.

Morse told police that after discovering his keys missing, he called Northampton Police to report his car had been used without his permission.

At a press conference after his cousin’s arrest, Morse said he would stop using the city-issued car for personal reasons other than driving to and from home.

He issued a statement saying he felt “betrayed” by his cousin’s actions, but also asking for privacy for Duclos.

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