Capitol riot photo leads to calls for Malta resignation | WNYT.com

Capitol riot photo leads to calls for Malta resignation

Sharon Pineo Sharon Pineo | Photo: AP.

Dan Levy
Updated: January 11, 2021 03:14 PM
Created: January 11, 2021 12:25 AM

MALTA - In the quaint community of Round, Lake, New York, Sharon Pineo was spending a quiet evening at home Sunday night, something that paints a stark contrast to the chaos, commotion, and crimes that occurred 400 miles away in Washington, D.C. Wednesday afternoon.

Pineo, a 70-year-old retired state worker and current member of the Malta Town Zoning Board, declined to offer an explanation as to how she wound up in handcuffs outside the U.S. Capitol during the midweek melee insurrection. We know that inside the building, there was destruction, desecration, and the death of a Capital Police officer.

"One question would be a factual question," said Laurie Shanks, an Albany Law School professor. "Where was this woman? Was she outside? Was she inside? Did she participate in the violence?"

Whether or not there is criminal culpability for Pineo remains to be seen. Her name does not appear on any arrest lists examined by NewsChannel 13.

A Saratoga County GOP official told The Daily Gazette newspaper Pineo assured him she was on the Capitol steps, never breached the building, and doesn't face any charges.

"Will they charge 20,000 people or 30,000 people as being an accessory to the crime?" Shanks asked rhetorically. "No."

Shanks says there doesn't appear to be criminal culpability even if Pineo was one of the organizers of the bus trip to Washington.

After pictures of her surfaced on social media, Tim Dunn, a fellow Republican on the Town Board, called for her to resign from the Zoning Board.

"Even though we don't know at this point if this woman is ever going to be charged," Shanks theorized, "it's possible that she will be charged in the future, and that the police made a tactical decision not to arrest people when they were so vastly out numbered."

Neither Town Supervisor Darren O'Connor, a Republican, nor Democratic Town Board Member Cynthia Young would comment for this story, citing a lack of information.


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