Monday, June 23, 2008

Weaver’s Bombshell

Former Rensselaer County Board of Elections employee Dick Weaver had a bombshell letter last week in The Record. Weaver alleged a decision by Democrat District Attorney Richard McNally to drop a criminal prosecution against Democrat County Boss Tom Wade was due to some inside dealing between McNally and Wade.

For those scoring at home, Wade was the subject of a grand jury proceeding to look into allegations Wade shook down Board of Elections employees for campaign contributions as punishment for the BOE employees failing to support Wade’s election as chairman. Testimony was believed to have been taken over several grand jury sessions but once McNally was elected – poof – the whole case disappeared.

The letter is probably the last thing McNally wanted to see after a series of embarrassing defeats in court this year, including defeats in a high-profile murder case and an attempted murder case and the dismissal of a murder case because of a failure to properly prosecute. Being portrayed as the whipping boy of his party’s political boss will hardly restore his reputation and help his campaign claims that he would be an effective prosecutor.

Weaver portrays McNally as a DA following orders, all in return for a $6,000 campaign contribution from Wade. If Weaver’s allegation is true, justice was sold cheap in Rensselaer County.

Weaver was the one who produced crucial evidence last year about Wade’s conduct prior to the grand jury investigation. We’ll see if Wade or McNally respond to Weaver’s bombshell.