Albany County Democrats don’t endorse Soares; committee to interview possible candidate

Democrats to meet on Soares endorsement

Democrats to meet on Soares endorsement

Albany County Democrats did not endorse a candidate for District Attorney at a meeting tonight.

Albany County Democratic Chair Jacob Crawford confirmed to NewsChannel 13 that local defense attorney Lee Kindlon will be interviewed by the executive committee for the position of district attorney.

Kindlon tells NewsChannel 13’s Dan Levy he will run only if he receives the party’s endorsement.⁦

Albany County District Attorney David Soares had been running unopposed and was expected to receive the endorsement before he came under fire for using grant money to give himself a $22,000 bonus.

Both Soares and Kindlon were at the meeting Tuesday.

Some Democrats are calling for Soares to step down. Soares said he did nothing wrong and released a video statement saying he does plan to give back the grant money. 

That money was from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and it was supposed to be used to help retain and motivate staff in the DA’s office. 

Sources tell NewsChannel 13 that Soares will not receive the Democratic Party endorsement tonight and people are now considering challenging Soares in the race for district attorney.

Albany County Comptroller Susan Rizzo had reached out to Attorney General’s Office and the state Comptroller to investigate Soares.

Rizzo told NewsChannel 13 on Tuesday said Soares could give back the bonus but she is not sure how that would work.  She has not heard back from the State Comptroller’s Office or Attorney General but expects to.

She said she appreciates the fact that Soares recognizes that he has to give back the money.

Rizzo said she agrees with Soares’ position on bail reform and his overall work, but this an issue.  

“I think Mr. Soares does a good job in the job he does. Unfortunately, he still has to abide by the rules and the judicial laws,” she said.

She said the investigation is ongoing.