District 1: Mark Wojcik,
District 2: Mark McGrath,
District 3: Mark Balistreri
District 4: Beverly Traa
District 5: Mark Krogh
District 6: Carolin Collier
No surprises except that Mr. Krogh secured his re-nomination with a pledge to change his name to Mark. We're also proud that one of the Troy Polloi's own, Vito "Mark" Ciccarelli, is running. Mr. Ciccarelli was a frequent commentator here, back in the early days, and we're bursting with pride.
This is a fine slate of candidates. Not all will win but each candidate is surely capable of voting yes and ignoring the independent nature of the legislative branch. And isn't that what it's all about?
A WIN FOR THE DA
Since we feel free to criticize the District Attorneys Office for mistakes, we'll highlight one of their victories.
Burton Hunter's conviction for Sodomy, vacated by Judge McGrath for the Prosecution's failure to disclose Brady material, has been reinstated by the Appellate Division. The DA's office took some hits when the conviction was vacated but the higher court agreed with the DA's office. The information was not Brady material (a type of evidence that must be turned of to the defense).
If you're interested, here's the decision (Adobe Acrobat required).
WHO'S SEEKING ATTENTION?
In other news, the Rensselaer County DA's Office is under attack by John Aretakis. According to Aretakis, representing a young victim, the DA's Office isn't attentive enough to his client.
Attorney John Aretakis has charged that the Rensselaer County District Attorney's Office hasn't paid enough attention to his 16-year-old female client even though her alleged attacker was arrested a week after the April incident allegedly occurred. On May 4, Averill Park resident Ralph Roberts, 42, was arrested and charged with third-degree criminal sex act, a class E felony, and forcible touching, a misdemeanor. Roberts was released later that day after paying $20,000 bail. Aretakis, who took on the unnamed girl's case earlier this week, criticized the DA's office Wednesday for failing to return the 10th grader's calls or to publicly expose her alleged aggressor for the safety of other families who might come into contact with the him.
According to the DA's Office:
Aretakis fails to mention the victim already met face-to-face with ADA Christa Book, a representative from Child Protective Services, and an official from the START Center, along with the victim's sister and father for several hours on May 11. At that time, Wohlleber says the merits of the case were discussed with the victim and her family as well as the process involved in moving the case forward through the criminal justice system.
Wohlleber also was confident that Book has promptly returned all phone calls from the victim and the victim's family since the case was brought to their office. "It's just another desperate attempt by John (Aretakis) to get his name in the paper and his face on TV," said Wohlleber. "Everything in this case is going according to standard operating procedure ... this guy was arrested, he posted bail, we met with the victim and we're getting ready to start prosecuting."
Of course, we've heard of victims retaining counsel, even in criminal matters. Typically, this occurs when there's a possibility of a civil action against the accused. The victim's private counsel will usually work behind the scenes and counsel the family and work, if necessary, with the authorities. One of the things they do not usually do is create a media circus.
Aretakis should also know that a District Attorneys Office cannot try a defendant in the media. What a prosecutor can and cannot say about a suspect awaiting trial is limited by the ethics rules.
The Aretakis show has grown tiresome.