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District Attorney Howard Relin of Monroe County said about 100 felony drunken-driving cases have been or will be dismissed because of incompetence by a former prosecutor, according to the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper.

Relin told the newspaper in an interview published Sunday that he fired Tim Rath on Sept. 8 for "gross incompetence" and "lying" during his 18-month tenure in the DWI Unit.

The DWI cases will be or have been dropped because the district attorney's office failed to present the case to a grand jury within the six-month time limit allowed under law. Among those cases is that of a Monroe County defendant charged with felony DWI on four different dates from 1998 to 2000, according to the newspaper.

Rath declined to comment specifically on Relin's allegations but said "the dismissal of cases has been an ongoing problem for years in the DWI Unit because it's an area that's overloaded and understaffed." Relin has added a prosecutor and now has three.

Doctor must pay $1 million
to family of patient who died

GOSHEN (AP) -- An Orange County jury has ordered a doctor to pay $1 million to the family of a 61-year-old New Windsor woman who died in 1997 from an infection after surgery.

Dr. Paul Mayer, an obstetrician-gynecologist, accidentally perforated the bowel of Eleanor Rothstein while removing scar tissue from her abdomen in Cornwall Hospital, said Alfred Laub, an attorney whose firm represented Rothstein's husband, Albert.

The cut allowed fecal matter into her abdominal area, where it caused an infection, Laub said. She was hospitalized for 17 days and died in Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla on July 13, 1997.

Mayer's lawyer, Jonathan Symer, said he plans to appeal.

Mayer's medical license was revoked in September.

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