Copake man pleads not guilty in harassment case

COPAKE–Town Assessor David Gordineer was in Copake Court Monday night October 26 to answer a charge of second degree harassment, a violation.

Mr. Gordineer, 41, who has not yet retained an attorney, pleaded not guilty to the charge which is based on a complaint signed by his 17-year-old daughter, Ashley.

According to court documents, Copake Police were called to the Gordineer home in Copake Falls the evening of October 22.

Ashley told police that she was cooking supper with her mother when her father came home and “started screaming at me and my mother about the cops coming to the house earlier looking for my brother.”

Though both she and her mother told Mr. Gordineer to calm down, the situation escalated and Ashley said her father hit her in the “nose/lip.” She called 911 to report the incident.

In his statement to police, Mr. Gordineer said, “I did not touch her.”

Mr. Gordineer appeared before Town Justice John Spencer, who recused himself from hearing the case, as did Justice Brian Herman, according to the court clerk.

If the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office recuses itself from prosecuting the case, a special prosecutor will be assigned and the case will be heard in another court. A similar situation arose earlier this year when a town councilman was charged with trespass by his estranged wife. That case was heard in Columbia County Integrated Domestic Violence Court before Judge Paul Czajka and the charge was subsequently dismissed.

Mr. Gordineer told The Columbia Paper Wednesday October 28 that he is trying to get the matter moved to family court.

“It’s just a family issue, it happened in my own home, it’s a domestic issue,” he said.

An enrolled Independence Party member, Mr. Gordineer was elected on the Democratic line to a one-year term as assessor last November over Republican Kenneth Phesay. It came to light just before Election Day last year that both men had prior records of illegal activities.

Mr. Gordineer is again running for assessor this year, this time on the Republican and Conservative lines, for a four-year term against Democratic challenger Loredana Delventhal, whose candidate profile appears in this issue. Mr. Gordineer said he was not interested in filling out a candidate questionnaire.

To contact Diane Valden email .

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