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Criminal case against Rensselaer County D.A. thrown out

June 11, 2018 11:49 PM

A judge has thrown out the criminal case against Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove. In a decision Monday, State Supreme Court Justice Jonathan Nichols granted a motion by Abelove's attorney to dismiss the case.

Abelove was facing two counts of official misconduct and one count of perjury.

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The attorney general launched an investigation into the police shooting death of Edson Thevenin.  Thevenin died in April of 2016 after a chase that followed a traffic stop.

Abelove presented the case to a grand jury, which cleared the police.  However, the governor, citing significant concerns about the investigation, authorized the attorney general to step in.

In Monday's decision, the judge found the attorney general did not have jurisdiction to prosecute the perjury charge.

Abelove's motion was granted and the indictment against him was dismissed.

Abelove held a brief press conference Monday afternoon, where he called the investigation a political hit-job.

"The now disgraced former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman -- who's got legal problems of his own -- came after me with a vengeance. I had maintained my innocence all along. I note to this day that I've done nothing wrong. I've always followed the law and I strive every day to seek justice for residents of Rensselaer County who have become victims of crime and I'm thoroughly pleased with this decision," said Abelove.

NewsChannel 13 reached out to the attorney general's office and they sent us this statement:

"Our indictment detailed a disturbing pattern of misconduct that violated the law and undermined a criminal investigation. We respectfully disagree with the court's decision and are determining how best to move this critical case forward."


MORE INFORMATION: You can read the full decision here.

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WNYT Staff

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