Cohoes mayor pleads not guilty after arrest

February 28, 2019 06:30 PM

The FBI arrested Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse Thursday morning. Sources say the charges involve the misuse of campaign money for personal use. Morse pleaded not guilty to a seven-count indictment in U.S. Court. He was released on recognizance.

Morse faces up to 20-years and a $250,000 fine for counts 1 through 6, including wire fraud.

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Meanwhile, late Thursday afternoon, Cohoes City Council passed a resolution asking Mayor Shawn Morse to take a leave or resign.

Morse didn't have anything to say when he left the courthouse. However, he later posted on Facebook, "This is my one and only statement. Thank you for all the love and support! This is the last hurdle we face. I am confident this will be over soon and we will finally have this all behind us."

Morse was elected mayor in 2015. He announced his bid for re-election last month. Three challengers have thrown their hats into the ring for the Democratic primary in June. It's unclear how the arrest might affect his decision to remain in the race.

Morse has a history of run-ins with the law in the past few years.

He was questioned last fall by federal agents regarding vacations he had taken – including a Caribbean cruise – that may have been paid for using campaign money.

In November of 2017, Morse was accused of domestic violence against his wife.

In September of 2018, Morse was accused of attacking his wife inside a Colonie Denny's. When those allegations became public, many, including Gov. Cuomo, called on Morse to resign. Morse refused and was later cleared of those charges.

While the Colonie Police Department closed its case, a state police investigation remains open. Now we have the new federal charges.


WNYT Staff

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