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Monday, January 19, 2015

Republican DA May Issue another "Keep out of jail card"

UPDATE: Abelove files January Financial report: Amazingly the report shows no payments to Richard Crist despite all the mailers etc he did for the campaign and for which he was supposed to be paid a fee. You can read the report here.

In another startling story on the front page of today's Times Union, the Chair of the Rensselaer County Legislature, Martin Reid, may be the next Republican to get a pass from the newly elected District Attorney, Joel Abelove.
The story which you can read here,  details Reid's applying for and receiving unemployment benefits  after he was dismissed from a State job. However, as most people know, if you are receiving a paycheck from another job, say $30,000 annually as the part time Chair of the Rensselaer County Legislature, you are simply ineligible to collect unemployment benefits.
That did not deter Reid who apparently lied on his application and received $17,000 in benefits he was ineligible for.  When caught, he, like any good bank robber, gave back the money.  State officials referred the matter to the DA's Office where newly elected Joel Abelove now sits. The same DA who in just a couple of weeks on the job allowed his campaign operative,Richard Crist, ( Reid's employee in the county legislature), to walk away from child endangerment charges by instructing his ADA not to oppose a motion to dismiss in the town court handling the case. One of his new assistants, Megan Malone, who just resigned as a town judge in North Greenbush, abruptly left the DA's office and is seeking to be reappointed to the town bench. She recused herself from hearing the Crist case as a town judge for far less reasons than Abelove had and watched her new boss throw the case.
According to the Times Union, Reid "willfully and intentionally misrepresented the facts" when he collected more than $15,000 in state unemployment benefits while being paid $30,000 a year for his government work. So now we wait for Abelove to let another Republican politico walk away from serious potential charges as Abelove demonstrates that he works first for the GOP and not for the citizens of Rensselaer County he is supposed to protect.
We're told two prominent local defense attorneys have made the offices of the State Attorney General Public Integrity Unit and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, Preet Bharara, aware of Abelove's misconduct in the Crist case. Bharara has a well deserved reputation for intolerance of public corruption. Here's a slam dunk Mr. Bharara with the potential of a second slam dunk waiting on the sideline.
Readers might also reference Jim Franco's blog T-Spin which published a story today on this matter. You can read it here. Franco notes that Abelove has not yet filed his financial disclosure which was due January 15th. Imagine the dilemma they face if they fail to show a payment to Crist for all of the work he did as a paid consultant to Abelove's campaign.  If Crist forgives the debt, it looks like a payment for Abelove's official act to allow him to walk from the charges his office was supposed to prosecute.  Ahh but they should remember they would still be required to list the value of those in kind services.  Be careful how you file that late report Mr. Abelove. One way or another what you would have owed Crist must be reported.
Wnyt CH.  13 also ran a lengthy story this evening. You can view it here. Judge: Veteran elected official improperly received unemployment benefits.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very nice, just reinforces the theorum that our fine county is indeed Gotham City without the tall buildings........Raoul Duke