Largest contributions to Bartlett campaign come from man accused of gang assault
Roger Hannigan Gilson reports in the Times Union the person who has donated the most money to Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett's re-election campaign, "is accused with three others of gang assault for allegedly beating a man so badly he was rushed to the intensive care unit at Albany Medical Center Hospital." Alex Rosenstrach was initially investigated under Bartlett's command, before the State Police took over. Rosenstrach donated $2,900 to Bartlett's campaign, three installments in 2018 and 2019, according to public campaign information. The alleged gang assault came after the donations. Bartlett has kept the donations, while returning other contributions recently, including $575 to his wife, Lori Bartlett, and $175 to John Davi, his former undersheriff. The alleged July 4-5, 2020 incident took place at the home of Rosenstrach and his wife, Columbia County Sheriff's Deputy Kelly Rosenstrach, who is another of the four people charged with gang assault. Bryan Haag, an IRS law enforcement agent; and Cory Gaylord, a contractor, are the others. Gilson reports, "Columbia County sheriff's deputies responding to the scene erroneously told superiors that Handy was not severely hurt, and that partygoers were too drunk to be interviewed, according to a deposition taken by State Police and obtained by the Times Union." Deputy Rosenstrach was placed on administrative leave, waiting for a trial date that has not yet been set. Bartlett did not directly address why he had not returned the donation, but said, "no contribution of any amount from any person has any effect on how this office operates." Read more about this story in the Times Union.