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GOP Rensselaer County BOE commissioner ordered to testify before federal grand jury

Jun 22, 2022 1:00 am

Brendan J. Lyons is reporting for the Times Union the focus of the FBI investigation that led to the guilty plea of a Troy councilmember is shifting to Jason T. Schofield, the Republican Rensselaer County Board of Elections commissioner, according to multiple sources. GOP employees at the board of elections have recently been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in Albany. The county also recently received a new federal grand jury subpoena for materials related to absentee ballots handled by Schofield last year. Two Rensselaer County elections registrars are among the witnesses subpoenaed to testify in front of the grand jury. The actions of Schofield, 42, surfaced in the recent case involving former Troy Councilmember Kimberly Ashe-McPherson, who pleaded guilty June 8 to a felony charge in U.S. District Court after admitting she had fraudulently submitted absentee ballots in the 2021 primary and general elections. Ashe-McPherson resigned from the council a day after pleading guilty. According to court documents, Schofield allegedly helped Ashe-McPherson obtain an absentee ballot through an online portal using the name and date of birth of a voter without "lawful authority." That absentee ballot was mailed to Ashe-McPherson's residence and submitted in the Working Families Party primary election that she won prior to being re-elected to the City Council in the general election. The grand jury subpoena recently served on the county sought records related to more than a half-dozen absentee ballot applications, including several obtained through the state's online portal by Schofield. Rensselaer County GOP leaders previously denied knowledge of any fraudulent activity by the party during the 2021 election. Read the full story in the Times Union.