Schneiderman on Troy shooting case: "I have jurisdiction," indictments in UAlbany bus incident, investigation of former Cuomo aide's consulting, Clifton Park looks to CDTA

Investigation of April 17 fatal shooting by Troy police
State attorney general Eric Schneiderman spoke publicly about the case Monday: "The people in Troy, the family and the police, and everyone have a right to understand that this was done thoroughly and properly, and we're going to make sure that we get to the right results and do it as transparently as possible." Schneiderman also addresses the issue of whether Edson Thevenin's alleged use of his car that night could qualify as a weapon, meaning he was not unarmed, and thus the case wouldn't automatically have been subject to a review by the state AG's office: "Under some circumstances under our criminal law an automobile can be used as a weapon. The point of the executive order, and it's very explicit on this point, is that I have jurisdiction as Special Prosecutor to supersede a district attorney when a law enforcement officer kills someone who is armed or if there is a serious question as to if they were armed." [News10] [TWCN]

Also Monday, Troy police Sgt. Randall French, who police say is the officer who fired the fatal shots during the incident, appeared in Rensselaer County Court to testify in an unrelated case -- and the defense attorney in the case, who says he's seen video from the April 17 incident, attempted to ask French questions about what happened (the judge didn't allow it). [TU+]

The Record's Mark Robarge on the fight between Schneiderman and Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove: "There are times to play politics and there are times not to, and when you're trying to find out the truth about an incident that left a husband and father dead, it is definitely not a time for politics." [Troy Record]

UAlbany bus incident
The Albany County DA's office announced Monday that a grand jury has handed up indictments against the three women facing charges in the January 30 UAlbany bus incident. The charges include assault and falsely reporting an incident, though none of the charges rise above the misdemeanor level and some are violations. It is unusual for charges of that nature to go before a grand jury -- defense attorneys not involved in the case say DA David Soares could have taken the case before the panel in order to determine whether felony-level charges were warranted, and/or it could have even been an attempt to avoid a judge in city court with whom Soares has previously had a history of conflict. An attorney for Ariel Agudio, one of the women charged, said to News10 in a statement that "the actions of the district attorney's office in this case are unprecedented and unwarranted" and they expect their client to be cleared. [Albany County DA] [TU] [News10]

Federal investigation of Buffalo Billion
Disclosure forms filed with the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics indicate Joseph Percoco, a former close aide to Andrew Cuomo, made between $70k and $125k in consulting income from two firms involved with the Buffalo Billion while he was off the state's payroll in 2014 working on Cuomo's campaign -- though one of the companies says it didn't hire or retain Percoco. Unnamed sources tell NYT federal investigators have been gathering documents related to the case from locations in/near Buffalo, Albany, New York City, and Washington in recent weeks. Andrew Cuomo said Monday New York City that he knew Percoco might be taking on consulting clients in 2014, but wasn't sure that had happened: "I'm saying, I know Joe Percoco, for many years, and he is a good man, and I would be shocked if he did anything wrong ... But, let's get the facts and then we can all make our own decision." [TU+] [NYDN] [NYT] [TU] [Politico NY]

Chris Gibson not running for governor
Now that Chris Gibson has announced he's not running for governor in 2018, to whom might Republicans look? Chris Churchill: "... the state GOP doesn't have other potential candidates who can really challenge Cuomo, much less beat him. That, ultimately, is why New Yorkers of all political stripes should be saddened by Gibson's decision. This is a state that would benefit from a competitive governor's race and vigorous debate about its direction." [AOA] [TU+ x2]

1 Monument Square
An executive with Kirchhoff Properties says the developer is considering legal action against the city of Troy because of the way the city handled the 1 Monument Square project, from which Kirchoff exited last week. [Biz Review]

Homelessness in Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs arrested 12 homeless people for violations such as trespassing over a recent two-day period, but the city police department says it wasn't the result of a specific sweep. (Some prominent business leaders have recently complained about problems related to homelessness in the city.) [Saratogian]

Clifton Park looks to CDTA
The town of Clifton Park has been talking with CDTA about starting local service there, in part to help employees get to the cluster of the hotels that have popped up around Exit 9. [Daily Gazette]

Albany bed bug trash law
The Albany Common Council has passed a bill that would require trash infested with bed bugs or other pests to wrapped in heavy-duty plastic -- or property owners could be fined up to $325. [TU]

International students
The Niskayuna school district and Schenectady County Community College have worked out an arrangement that allows tuition-paying international students to stay at Niskayuna High School for three years -- and earn college credit. [Daily Gazette]

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I've found that anecdotes from neighbors, friends, or internet "strangers" can only take you so far. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend you get out there and visit these schools during the school year, during the school day to get a feel for things. In the last few months, my wife and I have made a series of visits to our local elementary, middle + high-school. During those visits, we had the chance to talk to multiple teachers and see the kids "in action". It was very VERY telling in a lot of ways - both good and bad.

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