- Published on Thursday, 24 May 2012 17:25
After nine days of wire tapping testimony, a jury in Albany County Supreme Court found Norman Whitehead and Kenneth Williams guilty on all counts, except one, brought against them by the Attorney General’s Office in Operation Pipeline.
This trial began the day after Mother’s Day with four defendants and seven attorneys. Final arguments were delivered yesterday afternoon with only two remaining defendants. Just moments before the first day of the trial, defendant Juan Rivera Baez took a plea. On about the third day, I ran into defendant LaShon Turner asking his attorney to plead. He pled guilty the next day. Judge Brez was down to only two defendants by the time the jury was charged for deliberations.
- Published on Thursday, 24 May 2012 16:49
State Senator Joseph P. Addobbo (D-WFP), a subject at the center of an intense investigation into the scandalous awarding of a contract to place video slot machines at Aqueduct Raceway, held a glitzy, $500-per-head fundraiser last night -- at, where else, Aqueduct Raceway, the New York Republican State Committee today noted. Host committee members paid $2,500 person at the Addobbo affair on Wednesday evening.
The Aqueduct scandal involved Democratic senators in Albany illegally leaking contract bid information to the Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG), which then won the contract, before having it stripped away in the wake of the scandal. Mr. Addobbo, who pushed AEG's BID behind closed doors in Albany according to the testimony of other senators and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (while publicly claiming neutrality), was mentioned 38 times in the New York State Inspector General's 308-page report on the contract scandal. Mr. Addobbo took nearly $300,000 in campaign contributions from entities involved in the AEG matter.
"What is it about people always returning to the scene of the crime?," asked Republican State Committee Spokesperson Becky Miller. "One would think the last place Joe Addobbo would want to be seen would be at the casino at Aqueduct Raceway. But time and again we see the arrogance of career Albany politicians on display, and evidently that is what we are seeing here again."
- Published on Thursday, 24 May 2012 14:49
Partnership with New Jersey Racing Commission led to comprehensive review of Pena’s horses’ veterinary records, uncovering a litany of violations
RWB will seek to recover purse monies won with horses that were illegally drugged and will consider possible rule changes regarding veterinary records
The New York State Racing and Wagering Board, after a comprehensive and groundbreaking investigation with assistance from racing officials from New Jersey, has suspended harness trainer Luis (Lou) Pena immediately and indefinitely for illegally drugging horses in nearly 700 races in New York State and amassing more than 1,700 equine drug violations.
In addition to the immediate suspension, Pena faces a possible revocation of his license to participate in New York State and substantial fines (up to $25,000 per violation). The Board’s overall investigation into the matter is ongoing and further actions, including the recovery of more than $2.5 million in purse monies won with horses that were illegally drugged and possible rule changes regarding access and disclosure of veterinary records, are possible.
- Published on Thursday, 24 May 2012 16:04
Censure of DA Soares “Just the Tip of the Iceberg” of Costly Mismanagement in Steroids Case
Kindlon: How Much Has “Headline Grabbing” by DA Cost Taxpayers?
The censure of District Attorney P. David Soares by a state appeals court is just “the tip of an iceberg of recklessness, mismanagement and bad judgement that will end up costing Albany County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Lee Kindlon, Democratic candidate for DA.
As of February 27, more than $167,000 in taxpayer money had already been spent on outside attorneys hired to defend Soares. But Kindlon noted there are many additional costs as well, including travel to Florida and hotel stays for Soares and his staff. Further, if the court awards damages as a result of Soares's recklessness, Albany County taxpayers will have to bear those costs as well.
- Published on Thursday, 24 May 2012 14:38
From the County Exec:
It’s been a month of honor and recognition for the Albany County Courthouse, getting accolades for its renovation. Historic Albany Foundation presented Albany County with its 2012 Preservation Merit Award saying the restoration demonstrated a strong commitment to Albany’s historic architecture and served as an example of best practices for preservation. “I am so proud of the work that was done here,” said Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy. “This wonderful building now houses the Supreme Court, Surrogates Court, County Legislative Chambers, County Clerk and Sheriff’s Offices. A great deal of credit must be given to our County Project Manager, Jay Quackenbush and to Envision Architects and the project management company, BBL Construction Services.”
Last week, The Preservation League of New York State announced the Albany County Courthouse was the recipient of an award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. The award was presented at the Preservation League’s Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony in New York City at the historic New York Yacht Club. Project design was led by Envision Architects PC of Albany NY, Principal-in-Charge Ted W. Mallin AIA and Project Associate Jay Stasack RA. “The renovation of the Albany County Courthouse required a team dedicated not only to their individual tasks, but also to understanding the overall concept: that we were restoring a majestic place of Albany County’s history and future,” according to Jay Stasack of Envision Architects.