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Cousin took city-owned car before arrest, Holyoke mayor says

The cousin of Holyoke’s mayor, Alex Morse, drove off in the mayor’s city-owned car and was arrested shortly thereafter for driving it under the influence of alcohol, Morse said Sunday in a statement.

The mayor, some friends, and his cousin, Nick Duclos, were at an event in Northampton Saturday night, the statement said.

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“As I left the event I realized that my car keys were not in my coat and the car was missing, so was Nick,” he said. “I immediately tried calling him and then called the Northampton Police Department to report my car was missing.”

He was that told the car had been impounded and Duclos had been arrested on drunken driving charges, the statement said.

“This situation has left me feeling betrayed and disappointed,” Morse said. “Nick made a stupid decision and he should have known there was absolutely no reason for him to have taken the car.”

Morse said he is “fully cooperating with the Northampton Police Department and asked that all appropriate charges be filed.”

Northampton police declined Sunday to confirm or comment on the investigation.

Morse, a Brown University graduate and Holyoke native, was first elected mayor in 2011 when he was just 22 years old.

His chief of staff, Rory Casey, said the mayor has a city-owned vehicle because he is on call for emergencies at all hours. Morse is assessed additional income tax for the car, Casey said.

Zachary T. Sampson
can be reached at zachary.sampson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ZackSampson.
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