APD: Pull Over Lady...Now, How Much Do You Weigh?

The Citizens Police Review Board held court on Washington Avenue on Thursday and played host to a rather interesting case. While the names of the officers and complainants normally remain confidential and I don’t report them, this case was a little bit different as it was the case of Kim Roche.

Ya see, Ms. Roche was riding around on a December 18th, over in the Brevator area. (She admitted to me she drives a little fast…and she talks like she drives!) Anyway, an Albany Police Officer pulled her over when she turned left after the left turn arrow had switched to just a green light. As she told the Times Union Advocate, the officer’s first calming words to the pulled over motorist were “I’m not going to give you a ticket.”

Read more: APD: Pull Over Lady...Now, How Much Do You Weigh?

Loss of Another Albany Legend: Nebraska, We'll Miss You

While in the middle of the Citizens Police Review Board meeting, I got some sad news. Nebraska Brace, former third ward councilman and Albany Legend, had died. One of the few goals I had when I first moved to Albany was to meet Nebraska. Ya see, I read everything I could get my hands on while working in Community Action and all paths led me to Nebraska....who wouldn’t be intrigued?

I met Nebraska Brace as he sat on a throne-like chair at the door of Michaels during the nominating meeting of the Albany Democrats. No need for formalities…I stuck out my hand to the man in the Cowboy hat and in my best Texan, I introduced myself as “being very honored to meet him.” I’d like to say he felt the same but I’m quite sure he thought I was a strange woman who had found her way into Michaels and felt the need to babble.

I won’t pretend that I know anything more about Nebraska Brace than anyone reading this article…I am not part of his history and I don’t plan on hijacking it. When I ask people about this legend, they tell me first, “he was in the movie Ironweed.” Perhaps they think that this gives me some common ground. Honestly, I didn’t watch Ironweed until I moved to Albany but this weekend I think I’ll check out the bum by the name of “Andy” in that movie.

Brace was born January 3, 1929 and I was told that Nebraska was an aide to State Senator Howard Nolan who was one of Mayor Jennings staunchest supporters in his first run in 1993. Senator Nolan left office in Mike Hoblock took the office in 1995. From there Nebraska beat out 67 candidates for a job at the Albany Housing Authority…he swears it was not a “political” assist but that he’d be gone if he didn’t live up to expectations. In his more senior years Nebraska also loaned his famous smile to Walmart as he worked as a greeter.

While Nebraska Brace leaves a large family of children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and countless nieces and nephews, his biological legacy dwarfs next to the hundreds of men and women he has mentored in our community. Of all the people I’ve encountered in my Albany journey, Mr. Brace invoked an admirable memory in each and every one of them.

There were many paths taken in the history of Albany for which Nebraska Brace can lay claim as trailblazer but not many, I’m sure, can hold a candle to one of his last political battles. In the summer of 2011, Brace joined several other former elected officials to pinpoint and extract the most damaging “influence” in the minority community’s future…Wanda Willingham.

Perhaps the most powerful of Nebraska Brace’s political accomplishments was also one of his last.

(I’ll update as memorial information becomes available…I’d love to hear more about Nebraska Brace if you’d care to share.)

[Update: I lied. I didn't update but the news outlets caught onto this story...miraculously, two days later.]

APD Warn of Scam

From the APD....and, since your Granny probably isn't reading this blog...be sure to let her know about this.

Albany police are investigating a scam in which the suspects target the elderly and claim to be employees of the water department or fire department.

Police responded to a home today, around 12:30 p.m., after the victim called stating that two men came to her home claiming to work for the water department. She states she let the men inside and they began to walk her around her home checking faucets. She states that during the time they were in the house, one of the men then stole $1,400 from a room.

Read more: APD Warn of Scam

Stalking Attorney Suspended for Two Years

keeganOn Thursday, the NY Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department decided and entered their decision to suspend Charles J. Keegan's (Attorney Registration No. 2886349) license to practice law for two years. In 2009, Keegan was arrested for felony stalking as a family he was working with as a law guardian. Here's Brendan Lyons' article.

Here's the decision:

Respondent was admitted to practice by this Court in 1998. He maintains an office for the practice of law in Albany County. As set forth in a petition and sustained by a Referee after a hearing held pursuant to this Court's rules (see 22 NYCRR 806.5), respondent engaged in fraudulent and illegal conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that adversely reflected on his fitness as a lawyer, in violation of Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0) rule 8.4 (b), (c), (d) and (h). In mid 2009, respondent became obsessed with the family of an adolescent whom he had represented as attorney for the child.

His obsession manifested in numerous electronic communications with family members and others concerning the adolescent's alleged drug use and sexual activity, all under the guise of his concern for her well-being. The communications were often vulgar and profane. The family became alarmed and threatened by the communications and complained of harassment to the police. In late 2009, respondent pleaded guilty to two disorderly conduct counts (see Penal Law § 240.20) and was fined.

The town court also issued a two-year order of protection against respondent in favor of the family. Respondent also issued electronic messages to his friends and relatives during a trip to California in July 2009 that expressed angry and threatening sentiments, though not directed at anyone in particular. On this record, we decline to find respondent guilty of a second charge in the petition which alleged that respondent attempted to mislead and deceive petitioner. We grant the motion to confirm and deny the motion to disaffirm the Referee's report, each in part, in accordance with the above.

In order to protect the public, deter similar misconduct, and preserve the reputation of the bar, we conclude that respondent should be suspended from the practice of law for a period of two years.

Thanks to my tipster...I completely forgot it was decision day!

APD Cracks Down on Noise

In an ongoing effort to maintain order and a high quality of life in City neighborhoods, the City of Albany Police Department, will begin a proactive initiative today, to enforce loud and unusual noise from motor vehicles.

The initiative will focus on loud exhaust and loud music coming from motor vehicles, on city streets. Those in violation will be ticketed under the Vehicle and Traffic Law and/or The City of Albany General City Ordinance.

Several electronic LED signs will be placed throughout the City warning drivers about loud noise violations.

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