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Lawyer for Cohoes mayor's wife releases statement

September 25, 2018 09:25 AM

The lawyer for Brenda Morse, wife of embattled Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse, responded to public allegations of drug abuse made by her husband.

The mayor has been making the allegations since the Times Union released a 911 call earlier this month. The alleged incident took place last November.

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The recording prompted Gov. Cuomo to call on Morse to resign. Morse is refusing to do so.

In a statement released on Monday, Stephen W. Rossi, the lawyer for Brenda Morse, said:

"After sitting back and hearing Mayor Morse continue to make false allegations about my client to the press and television cameras, I am compelled to make this brief statement...

For starters, Ms. Brenda Morse and the Mayor began residing together in 1999... they both have children from previous relationships and one child who was born from their marriage. It appears their marriage will most likely be dissolved and a judgment of divorce will be issued. So, what we are talking about is the dissolution of a marriage and economic partnership.

Unfortunately, the Mayor is treating this like it is a political campaign. It's not. It's a domestic relations law matter.

As a divorce and family law attorney, we do not use the press or the television to further our client's interests and I ask the Mayor to stop using his position of power to make false allegations about the mother of his child and partner of 20 years.

There are many issues that need to be resolved in this personal matter... and yes, one of the issues is the issue of domestic violence... To that end, and with respect to the use of cameras and reporters, Mr. Mayor, we get it... you deny these allegations.

While it is tempting to provide the public with some of the evidence I have on this issue, to do so would be wrong. My client and I will present our evidence in a courtroom and before a judge.

Victims of domestic violence know that the issue is always about power and control. It therefore bothers me that my client, who is dependent upon her husband, continues to hear him slander her on the television.

I see this as nothing more than a continued effort by the Mayor to intimidate and control my client and this must stop now!

Mr. Mayor, as the husband of my client, you have a legal duty to provide for the support of your wife.

You have control of the house. You have control of the retirement accounts. You have control of the bank accounts and you are threatening to take my client's vehicle away. Your wife is not employed and has been out of the workforce for some time now. You know this and you also know she needs access to the marital funds. Please stop trying to starve her out.

It is respectfully requested that you provide my client with some financial support before she seeks public assistance and is supported by the tax dollars of the very people you represent.

Moreover, stop using the cameras to plead your case. Your wife is represented and upon information and belief, you have the ability to retain a divorce attorney. Please do so."

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WNYT Staff

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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