Leader of alcohol and drug abuse group arrested for DWI

Posted at: 06/13/2013 6:27 PM | Updated at: 06/13/2013 6:42 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

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SARATOGA SPRINGS - The Prevention Council is Saratoga County's leading agency for preventing alcohol and drug abuse.

At the council's event in March, a motivational speaker encouraged students to have a safe spring, by making good choices, especially not drinking and driving.

But that message apparently wasn't heard by the leader of The Prevention Council.

Heather Kisselback, The Prevention Council's executive director, was arrested on March 2 for driving while intoxicated and failing to dim her headlights.

It happened in Ticonderoga, not far Kisselback's home in Silver Bay, which is in the Warren County Town of Hague. She was driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .10.

A couple of weeks later, she pled guilty to a reduced charge of driving while ability impaired, paid a $300 fine, was ordered to take a 7-week drunken driving class and had most of her driving privileges temporarily revoked.

NewsChannel 13 tried several times to reach Kisselback by phone and e-mail Thursday and then we went to her office on High Rock Avenue.

We asked the employee who met us at the door if Kisselback was in. "Let me check," she said. Then, less than a minute later the same employee came back and said, "No, she's not. She's probably not going to be back until Monday."

Law enforcement sources say Kisselback told police officers that she feared that the arrest would cost her her job. But The Prevention Council's board is standing behind her.

A statement from Richard Ferguson, the president of the board, was emailed to NewsChannel 13 Thursday afternoon, "The board of directors voted to not accept Ms. Kisselback's resignation. The board decided to place her on 6-month probation with counseling."

It continued, "The Prevention Council has always been about helping people and that worthwhile goal should also apply to its staff. "

A late e-mail from Kisselback Thursday evening said her arrest might improve her ability to do her job.

"I now have a much better understanding of how someone can easily put themselves in a position where they believe they are able to drive and they aren't," she wrote.

According to Ferguson, Kisselback met all of the court-mandated requirements associated with the arrest and just this week her full driving privileges were reinstated.

Before joining the Prevention Council in 2010, Kisselback was Chief Operating Officer of the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York.



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