Gene Shalit's car-accident hearing postponed


GREAT BARRINGTON -- A show cause hearing that could determine if a misdemeanor criminal charge will be pursued against former television personality Gene Shalit for a car accident in October has been postponed, according to a clerk magistrate.

Shalit was scheduled to be at a hearing Tuesday at Southern Berkshire District Court before a clerk magistrate and police to determine what action -- if any -- would be taken. But a request was made to postpone the hearing until sometime next month, clerk magistrate Thomas Bartini said.

Bartini said he did not know whether police or Shalit requested the postponement. The rescheduled hearing date was not made public.

Shalit is facing a possible charge of driving to endanger after crashing his Honda Element into a utility pole and then up against a house at 120 Housatonic St. in Lenox on Oct. 24. Such a charge carries the possibility of fines and, in extreme circumstances, a jail term.

The Lenox Police Department also could propose that Shalit's license be suspended or revoked. On Tuesday, Lenox Police Chief Stephen O'Brien would not say what action would be pursued by the department.

O'Brien has said that Shalit told police he had fallen asleep at the wheel. No one was injured in the accident. It couldn't be determined if Shalit had hired an attorney.

Shalit, 86, of Stockbridge, retired in 2010 from NBC's "Today" as a film critic and celebrity interviewer after 37 years.

Show cause hearings are not open to the public. The results of the hearings may or may not be released afterward.

At show cause hearings, police provide evidence and the court magistrate determines if the evidence is strong enough to warrant the filing of formal charges.


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