Editor, The Spotlight:
Albany County Republican Party boss Peter Kermani tried to blackmail me. He threatened exposure of a 20-year-old criminal conviction if I did not drop my Republican Party challenge to his nominee, Fred DiMaggio, for town supervisor. I refused his intimidation. Whatever embarrassment I suffer is less important than the cause of helping the folks by reducing town government spending by at least 5 percent with no reduction in government services through innovation, efficiency and volunteerism.
Twenty years ago I sought payment for the unpaid balance of $4,272.28 for work I had done from an unscrupulous businessman who had acknowledged satisfaction by making two, $500 payments but who would over the next five months make himself judgment proof to avoid paying his bills, including $23,000 in unpaid sales tax.
The prosecutor offered only a deal, not a dismissal, even though I had shown him my actions did not meet the elements of the crimes with which he had charged me, larceny and forgery. While I had offered to repay the money taken, I declined his offer because I had only taken exactly what I had been owed and intended to defraud no one.
I chose to represent myself and chose a bench trial – both errors. Regular folks know what it means to be abused by people in positions of authority, especially in criminal court. The trial prosecutor would later serve a five-year prison sentence for stealing over $50,000 from the court’s victims’ restitution fund. Sad.
The probation officer who conducted my presentence investigation recognized the prosecutorial and judicial abuses and recommended “No probation,” something she had never done in her 16-year career and something my defense attorney had never observed in his 20-year career.
I would be pleased to share the details of this experience from my sworn affidavit and review the contents of boxes of court records with any Bethlehem voter.
Fortunately, I can re-instate my appeal. Understandably, because of the considerable effort and expense involved, I have avoided completing my appeal, but because of the actions of the corrupt Albany County Republican leadership, I will work with my Connecticut attorney to put my case back on the Connecticut Appellate Court docket and either reverse the convictions or agree on a settlement with prosecutors that accomplishes the same thing. This process may be lengthy, longer than the election season.
I hope my fellow Bethlehem citizens will see the truth and the principles for which I fought, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. This single quixotic but misguided act happened 20 years ago, when I was a young adult, whereas Mr. Kermani’s extortion attempt is current. Shameful.
I hope my fellow Bethlehem Republicans will realize that the Albany County Republican Party is in the sorry state it is in because the Albany County Republican Party leadership is as corrupt as it is and will join me in doing something about it so that Bethlehem Republicans and Bethlehem’s citizens can have a better future. Please contact me at [email protected]