More calls for Cohoes mayor to resign amid domestic violence allegations

December 11, 2017 09:16 PM

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan is now calling for her fellow mayor in Cohoes to resign. Sheehan follows Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, who on Sunday called for Shawn Morse to step down because of new allegations of domestic violence.

The calls for the mayor to resign are coming after an eyewitness to Morse's alleged abuse told his story at an Albany County Democratic Committee meeting Sunday night. Both Fahy and Sheehan were there to hear Assemblyman John McDonald recount a run-in back in the 1980s.

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McDonald says one of Morse's girlfriends was an employee at his pharmacy back then. He says Morse came in one day, started an argument with her, then dragged her out by her hair. McDonald's retelling of his encounter was first reported in Sunday's Times Union.

The mayor is currently under investigation by state police for a 911 call his wife made in November.

Fahy and Sheehan called for a resignation. The Democratic Committee came out with a statement saying if the allegations are found to be true, they ask for Morse resign from office immediately.

Now all Albany County Democrats are being forced to think about this.

"Being a father of two daughters, being a husband, I can't condone any of this type of behavior. So if it comes out and it's true, for the people of Cohoes, the mayor should step aside," explained Albany County Executive Dan McCoy.

"The party has no power to tell someone they have to leave office. That's just not the way it works, but they can make a statement, take a stand and be clear that we do not accept domestic violence," noted Maureen O'Brien, the Albany County Democratic Committee Secretary.

Cohoes City council members Randy Koniowka and Steve Napier are calling for the mayor to resign if the allegations are true.

It doesn't appear the mayor is resigning. He sent out the following statement late Monday afternoon:

"Despite those looking to stop the momentum we have in Cohoes and attempting to downplay the incredible work my administration has accomplished in the past two years, I refuse to dignify news stories that are based upon unnamed sources, political opportunists, rumor and innuendo from thirty years ago. I respectfully urge those who have expressed their opinion to refrain from rushing to judgment on this matter based upon unnamed sources in a newspaper story. In the absence of a credible, sworn allegation that I engaged in wrongdoing, I respectfully request my fellow Democrats and the good people of Cohoes to keep an open mind and permit any such allegations to be resolved by the Courts, where I am entitled to the same measures of due process as any other citizen."

"My work as Mayor of Cohoes and as public servant remain at the utmost importance, as well as being a dutiful husband and father to my family. Our city and community has never been prouder or stronger. As the state's fastest growing city two years in a row, we have secured more than $50 million in new economic development, more construction of market rate condominiums, rebuilding our infrastructure to accomodate new technologies and more jobs, and ultimately making Cohoes the best place to live, work, and raise a family. I have never allowed the naysayers and those who don't believe in the Spindle City stop our progress and our future in the pursuit of being an All America City."


WNYT Staff

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