In a City Court appearance that lasted less than a minute Wednesday morning, former state Assembly candidate and Democratic party operative Gary Parenti pleaded not guilty to several traffic charges and then bolted from the Falls courthouse through a side door to avoid the press.

“(Parenti) has no comment,” defense attorney James Faso said. “I just came on this case. I was just given the (court) papers and I’m reviewing them.”

Parenti, 42, 955 Harrison Ave., entered his plea to charges of driving while ability impaired by alcohol, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and passing a red light. He remains free on his own recognizance and is due back in court April 30 for a pretrial hearing.

The driving while impaired and passing a red light charge are traffic violations that could result in fines if Parenti is found guilty of them. The aggravated unlicensed operation charge is a misdemeanor that carries a fine and a possible 30-day jail term.

The misdemeanor charge is the result of Parenti’s driver’s license being suspended for his failure to appear on a traffic charge in Grand Island Town Court.

“It was a traffic infraction he didn’t know about,” Faso explained.

Parenti was stopped at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, by Falls Police Roving Anti-Crime Unit officers. The officers said Parenti drove his Ford Explorer through a red light at 19th Street and Pine Avenue, honking his horn as he drove through the intersection.

After he was pulled over at 19th and Falls streets, Parenti failed field sobriety tests and was eventually given a Breathalyzer test. He registered a blood alcohol content of 0.07 percent. The legal limit for driving while intoxicated in New York state is 0.08 percent.

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