NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (WRGB) - CBS6 has obtained a copy of a strongly-worded letter from the National Transportation Safety Board to the Schoharie County District Attorney, saying 'Time's up!'
CBS6's Liz Bishop has learned exclusively that the government agency is demanding access to the limousine that crashed in October, killing 20. The letter charged D.A. Susan Mallery's office with preventing the NTSB team from doing its job.
The Schoharie County D.A. confirmed receipt of the letter dated December 14 and signed by the NTSB's General Counsel. She says in response "...the limousine is a piece of evidence in a criminal investigation--it's the court order the New York State Police has an obligation to follow, and they're doing that."
The letter's conclusion is especially damning, telling the district attorney quote:
"...we are gravely concerned that your lack of responsiveness to our requests has seriously impeded our abilities to carry out our congressionally-mandated duties to properly complete this safety investigation and potentially prevent similar accidents in the future." -- Kathleen Silbaugh, NTSB General Counsel
D.A. Mallery responded to concerns of lost or unavailable evidence caused by the delay by saying that was "absolutely not" the case -- that her office had followed the advice of experts.
It was almost two months ago that the chairman of the NTSB sat down with Liz Bishop, stating that he expected to have access to the vehicle within a week to ten days of our October interview.