Impossible to confirm so I'll leave the names out, but a person close to the voter fraud investigation is saying there will be three more charged along with Elections Commissioner Ed McDonough and Councilman Mike LoPorto.
If that's the case, and there is no reason to think it's not, then what Brian Premo, McDonough's attorney, wrote in his first round of legal papers is not true - Special Prosecutor Trey Smith will not stop at just the first two. Or it really was a triple-dog dare. Not that it was necessary because I never thought Smith would stop at two and nobody else really did either.
The papers, which include an affidavit by McDonough and an affirmation by Premo, pretty much throw everyone else mentioned by the defrauded voters under the bus and since nobody thinks McDonough and LoPorto are the only two culpable of voter fraud in the 2009 Working Families Party primary there will be more charges forthcoming.
One of the three about to get charged, I hear, was already asked to talk over a plea deal but didn't want to give anything up so as of Monday they haven't gone too far.
Safe to say, Smith will charge at least three more. Also safe to say, if Smith doesn't charge anyone else the person close to the investigation will be "in his bosses office pounding his fists on his desk."
If anyone goes to jail is up in the air, but there are a ton of resources pumped into this. Not just Smith's hourly rate but State Police time too. And that includes DNA stuff which we haven't hear much about as of yet but we hear it's pretty compelling.
I've said it's impossible to confirm but if the person close to the investigation wants to give me a call, my number is 270-1277.
It reads like a double dog dare. Or as one astute observer said, it reads like a circular firing squad.
The papers filed by Brian Premo, the attorney for Elections Commissioner Ed McDonough on Thursday (see below) is what I'm referring to.
In the documents, which include an affidavit by McDonough and an affirmation by Premo, the question was asked why everyone who was named - including the seven other Democrats who gave up a sample of their DNA and a bunch of Working Families Party people too - weren't indicted.
A legitimate question, but hardly one to base the request to remove Special Prosecutor Trey Smith from the case. That's where the paperwork gets kind of screwy. To imply Smith targeted McDonough because the latter's father, a legendary politician, refused to run him for DA some 20 years ago is a stretch.
Word on the street was that McDonough would not go down alone and the papers certainly indicate he won't. I don't believe for a second that Smith is done with the indictments either, as the papers imply. Premo can say what he wants, but I find it hard to believe some of the others won't get indicted along with McDonough and Councilman Mike LoPorto. The two face 116 felonies related to alleged voter fraud in the 2009 Working Families Party primary.
The only two ... so far.
Back to the circular firing squad. Councilman Kevin McGrath testified for Smith. No question about that one. So did DeFiglio and a number of others.
Gonna be interesting to see what Smith's next move is. It's just not right to snub a double dog dare, after all.
The attorney representing Elections Commissioner Ed McDonough is expected to file papers today (Thursday) answering the 74 felonies forgery charges.
Obviously, I don't know what the document will say but if half of what's going around town is true it could be a beaut and set the stage for a protracted legal battle rather than a quick plea.
Obviously, I'm hoping for the first and there is a good chance of that considering McDonough's attorney, Brian Premo, isn't known for pulling punches.
I'll refrain from naming names but sources say the paper's will claim one of the people who testified, presumably with immunity and presumably for prosecutor Trey Smith, was lying through is teeth.
And the Premo's papers will claim that the practice of manipulating absentee ballots has been done in the past and on behalf of some pretty high profile, county-wide candidates who won their last election by a pretty slim margin days after the election and only after the absentees were counted.
Tom Connolly, the vice chair of the state Independence Party who cut his teeth under Ed McDonough, the old man not the one recently indicted, could be in some trouble according to a story in the New York Post.
Seems like, according to The Post, Connolly, known affectionately as Boy, was at least aware of some shenanigans between Indie Party wheel John Haggerty and what happened to the $1.2 million New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg gave Haggerty to perform a ballot security operation in 2009.
I have no idea what a "ballot security operation" is. If anyone knows, drop me a line.
The Post cites e-mail exchanges between Connolly and Haggerty filed in court by Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. saying as much - one can't help but wonder what other exchanges the DA has but hasn't filed yet - and alleges a fake contract concocted by Haggerty and Connolly long after the election.
Connolly has a long history in Rensselaer County politics. He started under McDonough as a Dem and as a Dem took over the county Independence Party from Wanda Chenot. It was a legit coup in that he enrolled a bunch of friends in the party who would then elect enough people to take over the committee and then that committee would elect an executive committee of his choosing which would in turn endorse what ever candidate he wanted.
Back to Connolly's long history. He was a Dem until ... well we're not sure when. He didn't get the plumb job of commissioner of jurors in 1996, but only because he got a DWAI the day before he was supposed to get appointed. He also wanted to be the board of elections commissioner but was upset when the Dems re-appointed Tom Wade instead. That happened back in the late 90s too.
So he flipped to the GOP sometime along the line and took with him the "I" line and got a sweet job with Sen. Carl Krueger making $100,000 a year for what is widely seen as a no-show job thanks to then Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno.
I have to wonder if Krueger has the Independence Party platform at heart. We also have to wonder what that platform is.
But he lost that when the chamber flipped to the GOP. And given what is going on now, the Manhattan DA froze the party's assets, if he can find another job until it all shakes out.
Connolly is one of Rensselaer County political characters, his family has a storied history but ... and I'm not sure what to say past that. You can figure it out.
To change gears a bit, the attorney for disgraced ex-priest Gary Mercure, while asking the judge to send him to county jail instead of state prison, said his client will be at the "bottom of the social order" and subjected to physical harm by the inmate population.
Gee, that's too bad.
Mercure is the priest recently convicted of raping two alter boys he coerced into trusting him and suspected of doing the same to others.
Ya gotta give Pittsfield Judge John Agostini credit for laying it on the line: "You're not a priest. You're no more than a common thug." And then sending him to hard time in state prison.
Let's see if Mercure has that smug look on his face while he's enjoying life at "the bottom of the social order" doing hard time.
I don't know if it's justice or not considering what he did to those two boys, now men, but it's as close as our system allows. On the surface anyway.
I'm sure there is some irony in how the real justice, the eye for an eye justice, will come from convicts locked up for things like murder and assault.
So the GOP narrowed it down to four: Carmella Mantello, Mark Wojcik, Tom Killips and John Daniels. The later is a mystery but would probably, in this town, get more votes if he went by the nickname "Jack."
There are a bunch of Dem names out there too like Clement Campana, John Brown, Frank LaPosta, Jim Conroy, Lou Rossamilla, Peter Ryan and a host of others. That party is pretty much holding its breath to see how voter fraud shakes out before it can go forward but if the GOP is already interviewing candidates they better get a move on.
Petitions hit the street in less than five months and at the pace Trey Smith is going, five months ain't enough time to let him dictate what happens to who so it's getting near time for best guesses or flipping coins.
Gotta give credit to Police Chief John Tedesco for trying to actually be a police chief and decide how the department operates rather than allow the union to run things.
For example, he wants stuff like the three officers who patrol the schools to do something besides patrol the schools when the students are on vacation.
But, you can bet the PBA will take him to court and probably win and won't give anything back just cause they are the PBA.
Other issues he wants to tackle include having detectives work night and weekend shifts and the seniority clause in the PBA contract.
You want to hear something really stupid, I'll tell you about how seniority works at the Troy PD. It doesn't matter if you are really good at say collecting evidence. You are meticulous and careful and do a pretty good job at maintaining a chain of custody of whatever evidence you pick up from a crime scene or otherwise. That's a pretty common target for defense attorneys trying to cast a reasonable doubt to dismiss whatever crimes their clients are charged.
You've learned the skill for a year, and then bid-day comes and some sausage-fingered guy comes along with a day more experience than you who can't keep his Rolledex in order let alone complex stuff like a DNA sample or a finger print and he wants to be the next evidence technician.
He gets it.
As for me, I wanna be the next newspaper cartoonist. I've been here a while and damn it, I deserve the job because of that.
I did go buy a box of Crayolas too. Cause I really wanna be a cartonist, damn it.
Mantello's run for mayor
Well, Carmella Mantello is out of a job and, we're told, has her eyes set squarely on being the next mayor of Troy. She is pushing hard to get the Republican nomination though she has been associated with Republicans across the river like former Gov. George Pataki and Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno than those that matter now on this side of the river like city Chair Jim Gordon, county Chair Neil Kelleher and Rich Crist, the de facto executive director of the county GOP.
Mantello certainly has the resume, but she may face a tough time getting the nomination considering former Councilman Mark Wojick and others who are closer to the Troy GOP than Mantello.
For those of you who care, the hair dryer wired onto the roof rake and propped up against the ice dam that formed on my roof worked wonders. It took a little time, like overnight, but the water is now pouring onto the ground rather then into the second floor.
It's not hard to not like how the Troy Council does business
I know I get flack for being too pro-Tutunjian but anyone looking at things with a hint of an objective eye really can't help it. I got the same flak for being too pro-Pattison too and he's a Democrat.
Case in point: The Council's inane attempt to shift money from a homeland security grant and from the engineer's office to fund an appraisal of the River Triangle Building and a study to explore the feasibility of turning the Dauchy Building into the next City Hall.
Both make sense and that's why Mayor Harry Tutunjian agreed to find funding to pay for them. But, the council decided to attempt, without letting the mayor, the corporation council or acting comptroller know what they were up to until they introduced it at Thursday's Council meeting.
The Council, as Tutunjian pointed out, wasn't even sure if the grant money had already been spent and while I'm not 100 percent sure, I'm willing to bet the federal Department of Homeland Security won't like spending money to study two buildings in downtown Troy. They probably have more important things to worry about - you know, like terrorists.
Honestly, the Council wanted the studies done, the mayor agreed to come up with the funding yet the Council has to try and stab him in the back and mess with his budget without even telling him. Unlike the part time members of the Council, the mayor and his staff are charged with the day-to-day operations of the city and don't need the Council throwing him curve balls at every turn.
It led to one of the best lines in a while: "You forced me get my Irish up. And I'm not even Irish," an angry Tutunjian told Councilman Bill Dunne, the driving force behind the studies.
Check out the video below and story as reported by Record reporter Cecelia Martinez.
Well now that voter fraud is well under way with no less than 116 charges filed against Councilman Michael LoPorto and Elections Commissioner Edward McDonough it's all pretty much been covered inside and out.
At this point in time, I really don't have anything else to add so I'll turn my attention to a different topic - what is Mayor Harry Tutunjian going to do in 11 months when he is term limited out of office.
He's been coy on the topic thus far but he is having a fundraiser on Thursday. What that means is pure speculation but someone without a thought of running for another office would not be holding a fundraiser.
It's been dubbed the "State of the City Address Preview Breakfast: A trip back in time as we leap forward into Troy's future."
Tickets are $65 a pop, or $1,000 to sponsor a table.
The entire state Legislature is up for grabs next year and who he would have the opportunity to run against depends on the new Legislative district lines.
Possibilities include Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari, a Democrat who will likely not come through the pending budget battle his chamber is poised to have with Gov. Andrew Cuomo in all that popular of a position; Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, a freshman Republican; Sen. Roy McDonald, a Republican who's been around Albany a while; or U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, a freshman Democrat in Washington.
It's all just speculation but as one person said: "People don't get into politics to get out of it" and what does Tutunjian have to lose. Despite his battles with the Council, he's done a solid job as mayor and he remains a pretty popular guy in Troy. flyer
Welcome to Talespin. Jim Franco, the blogs current caretaker, has covered the Capital District for more than 15 years and particularly enjoys Troy, Rensselaer County and state politics. Reach Jim at email@example.com or give a call, 478-5343.