Former TPD chief pushes back on criticism of shooting investigation, a guilty plea in Jay Street fire case, RPI alumni group pushes for change

Scrutiny of Troy Police Department
+ In a letter to the Troy Record, John Tedesco -- who just recently retired as Troy police chief -- called state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman a "political mad man" and pushed back on sections of the state AG's office report on the fatal police shooting of Edson Thevenin, arguing the AG's office was motivated to find fault so that it could pursue a case against Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove (Tedesco also took issue Times Union columnist Chris Churchill.) [Troy Record]
+ The AG's office will be meeting with the Troy City Council to discuss the report, at the request of council president Carmella Mantello. She said the meeting is part of the council pursing an oversight role of the TPD and the mayor. [TU] [WNYT]

Joe Percoco trial
The trial of Joe Percoco -- a longtime top aide to Andrew Cuomo -- on federal corruption charges starts Monday. It's expected to highlight the workings of the state's economic development efforts, and potentially complicate things politically for the governor. [TU] [Politico NY]

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Jay Street fire
+ The building manager facing charges for the fatal Jay Street fire in Schenectady three years ago pleaded guilty to four counts of criminally negligent homicide on January 12 -- which didn't come to light until this past Friday. Jason Sacks faces 1-3 years in prison at sentencing. [TU] [Daily Gazette]
+ Sara Foss says she's hoping that the case against city code inspector Kenneth Tyree goes to trial and will provide insight into the workings of the city's code enforcement and its possible deficiencies. [Daily Gazette]

DA suing judge
A look at an unusual situation: Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove is suing a North Greenbush town justice over the dismissal of a case against a registered sex offender. [TU]

Guns and drugs
Troy police say they found drugs and multiple guns -- including a machine gun -- during a raid on a Linden Ave apartment. [News10]

100 mph
Glenville police say a Schenectady driver, with just a learner's permit, fled a traffic stop at more than 100 mph and then crashed into a guard rail early Saturday morning. [Daily Gazette]

TU Center gala concert canceled
The John Legend / James Taylor concert scheduled this week to celebrate the renovations of the TU Center has been canceled. The arena's management said just 6,000 of 16,000 seats were sold as of this past weekend, but the cancelation was prompted by the promoter not coming up with the money to cover its obligations. [TU] [News10]

RPI
A group of RPI alumni dissatisfied with the direction of the school have publicly posted criticism of their alma mater's finances, academics, and governance -- along with a platform of ideas for reform. The alumni say their concerns have prompted them to stop donating to the school. In response, RPI issued a statement saying its confident in its overarching strategic plan and its execution. [TU] [Troy Record]

School funding
Two Schenectady school district families have joined the statewide lawsuit over the state's school funding formula. [Daily Gazette]

State budget
Chris Churchill: "New York's government is not doing what a rational family would do. If you suffered through Gov. Cuomo's budget address to lawmakers on Tuesday -- my sympathies -- you didn't hear anything about cuts to wasteful spending. You didn't hear anything about eliminating costly mandates or making painful choices during tough times." [TU]

Albany tax assessments
The city of Albany is moving toward taxing two downtown parcels the that the convention center authority has argued should be tax exempt. [TU]

Two counties
Contrasting the economic fortunes of Saratoga and Montgomery counties over the last few decades. [TU]

Alienated from The Alienist
Talking with author Caleb Carr, a Rensselaer County resident, about the TNT adaption of his best seller The Alienist. [TU]

Stuff going on today

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Monday: The Palace's movie series is showing Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Strange things are afoot at the Circle K. Monday 7 pm -- $5

The Final Year
Monday-Thursday: Proctors is screening The Final Year, a documentary about the inner workings of the last year of the Obama administration. Monday-Thursday various times -- $9 / $6 students, seniors, and kids

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I ride every day to work, and also after work for exercise. I love the concept of being a person who happens to ride a bike. There's a level of bike riding, with the high performance gear and sleek clothing, that makes riding seem like its not for everyone. I try to avoid markers like that, and always wear regular clothing/shoes/backpack with dumpy-looking bike. One concession is bike gloves.

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