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Originally published Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 7:58 AM

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NY judge clears commuter accused of driving train

A New York judge has dismissed criminal charges against a commuter charged with illegally operating a rush-hour train with the engineer's permission.

The Associated Press

MINEOLA, N.Y. —

A New York judge has dismissed criminal charges against a commuter charged with illegally operating a rush-hour train with the engineer's permission.

William Kutsch had been charged with misdemeanor counts.

The engineer who was controlling the Long Island Rail Road train was fired last year after pleading guilty to official misconduct for allowing Kutsch into the cab of the rush-hour train in July 2009. About 400 people were on board.

Defense attorney Marc Gann tells Newsday in Thursday's editions that prosecutors were unable to locate anyone who could testify seeing Kutsch at the controls. Gann says his client is thrilled to be cleared of the charges.

Nassau County prosecutors say they will ask the judge to reconsider.

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Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com

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