Dozens of Rensselaer County workers served with federal grand jury subpoenas
Brendan J. Lyons and Kenneth C. Crowe II are reporting for the Times Union that dozens of Rensselaer County workers and others have been served with federal grand jury subpoenas as part of a building FBI investigation focused on the filing of absentee ballots in elections over the past two years. The subpoenas for federal grand jury testimony later this month have been issued to rank-and-file county workers as well as to Jason Schofield, the Republican commissioner for the county's Board of Elections. Sources said the subpoenas were served on people who may have done campaign work or who had absentee ballots issued on their behalf. "I can't really discuss anything," Schofield said March 8. The latest series of subpoenas came after a group of subpoenas requesting documents from the Rensselaer County Board of Elections were served on February 3. They were served on the county days after FBI agents seized the mobile phones of county Operations Director Richard W. Crist and Jim Gordon, the county's director of purchasing. Both men are political allies of County Executive Steve McLaughlin. The seizures took place the same day McLaughlin appeared in Rensselaer County Court for a pre-trial conference in an unrelated criminal case involving the alleged theft and misuse of campaign funds. McLaughlin has pleaded not guilty to two felony charges in that case. The federal investigators are examining Gordon's role in gathering absentee ballots at a public housing complex in Lansingburgh. State Police investigators were reviewing Crist's involvement with absentee ballots in the Rensselaer mayoral race. Read more in the Times Union.