DA discusses sex abuse case with K’hook public

NIVERVILLE–District Attorney Paul Czajka attended Monday night’s Town Board meeting to discuss the arrest of a counselor at the town recreation program for a criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a minor. The DA said that the accused man, Malcolm Gray, had been assigned counsel.

“Sometimes criminal conduct accrues despite our best efforts,” Mr. Czajka said at the August 13 meeting. He praised the town for contacting authorities immediately after the incident was reported. Town Supervisor Pat Grattan said that letters were sent home to parents of children in the program and counselors were trained again on reporting issues.

Mr. Grattan said that the crime appears to be an isolated incident.

Also at the meeting, Supervisor Grattan reported that the board will not be entering into a rental agreement with Twin County Recovery Service or County Mental Health for space in the Martin H. Glynn Elementary School Building, which the town and Village of Valatie will soon own.

School district voters voted in May to approve transferring ownership of the building to the town and village, The school board closed the old school last year because of declining enrollment in the district and the cost of maintaining the empty structure. A committee of town and school officials has been working out a contract with the district to finalize the transfer to the municipalities, and once the contract is completed the town and village both plan to move their offices to the school.

Mr. Grattan said he met with his board and with Valatie Mayor Gary Strevell, as well as representatives from Twin County and County Mental Health, and decided against allowing the mental health services providers to rent a space for the proposed outpatient treatment services. The boards held a joint meeting last month at which village residents packed the room and spoke against having a one-day-a-week drug and alcohol recovery office in the building on Church Street.

The Glynn School Committee, which also includes some village residents, will met on August 23 at 7 p.m. in the village hall in Niverville. The meeting is open to the public.

In other business, Northern Columbia County Little League representatives were at the meeting again this month asking for permission to build a third field–for girls’ softball–at the town park. League representatives stressed the need for more ballparks, since the league has nearly 500 kids. One coach said about 40% of those kids are girls, who play on softball fields that are different from other league fields.

The league proposes to fund the project and build the field at Volunteer Park, but the group needs permission from the board. Mr. Grattan said league administrators should meet with the town Recreation Department and the town engineer before the board can adopt the environmental review required as part of the approval for the project.

Town residents who live near the park have complained about speeding on park roads during Little League season and dirt that is kicked up by the cars coming in and out. Mr. Grattan said he would talk to the Highway Department about road.

Board member Patsy Leader announced that the next Neighborhood Watch Meeting for the town and Village of Valatie will be Thursday, August 16 at 7 p.m. at Barnwell Nursing Center on Church Street in Valatie.

The next regular board meeting will be Monday September 10 at 7 p.m. in the town hall.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .


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