We are back from a delightful Christmas holiday. Sort of.
Like many of you, we are having a hard time getting going after the Christmas break. We sincerely hope you had a good time with your friends and family. Luckily, there's another long weekend just around the corner.
One story that came out last week, on Tuesday, December 22, was the firing of Assistant District Attorney Shane Hug. District Attorney Joel Abelove terminated his assistant on the previous Friday.
It is not known why Hug was fired although unemployment benefits fraud has been ruled out. According to the Times Union article, sources said that the firing is connected to an ongoing investigation involving the police. Abelove's office obtained a search warrant for Hug's cell phone from an Albany Supreme Court Judge.
Obviously, people have connected this event with the warrant to search Gary Gordon's cell phone, part of the ongoing investigation into the illegal release of the Jim Gordon 911 call from July, 2015. The 911 tape, where Mrs. Gordon told a dispatcher that her husband had held her down, was made public on October 20, by Times Union reporter Brendan Lyons. Some believe the release of the tape cost Gordon, a Republican, the election. In fact, it may have cost Wiltshire the election but that's a different story.
The only difference, and it may mean nothing, is that the Gordon warrant came out of Rensselaer County while the Hug warrant came out of Albany County. Hug, unlike Gordon, would have appeared before both of County Court judges in Rensselaer County.
Hug, as an assistant district attorney, can be fired at any time, for any reason or no reason at all, as he serves at the pleasure of the District Attorney.
We held off on the story hoping for some more detail. That detail has not been forthcoming.
While we agree that the cell phone warrant immediately reminds one of the seizure of Gary Gordon's cell phone, there is no information the two are related. Furthermore, it is inconceivable, to us at least, that Hug would risk job and law license, and be involved in something so déclassé.
If we assume, for the moment, that Hug's termination is related to the Gordon 911 tape, it does not mean Hug was involved in anything criminal. It is not illegal to have a copy of the Gordon 911 tape. If it was, Brendan Lyons would be arrested. The First Amendment does not allow reporters to break the law. However, Abelove would be well within his rights to fire Hug if he believed Hug had information about the release of the tape.
Or maybe, it had nothing to do with the Gordon 911 tape.
Franco was first with the story. The comments are of interest.