First votes, now ethics

Dems cry foul over county lawyer’s role

TAGHKANIC–The legal battle continues in Taghkanic over which absentee ballots can be counted, with four offices hanging in the balance. And in a new development, Democrats have filed ethics charges against Robert Fitzsimmons, the attorney who represents both the Board of Elections and the town, charging him with a “serious breach of his fiduciary duty as an attorney and as a county employee.”

Mr. Fitzsimmons, who was a deputy county attorney at the beginning of the week when the charges were filed, was named Wednesday by the Board of Supervisors as the county attorney, the top legal officer for the county in civil matters. Attempts to reach Mr. Fitzsimmons for comment were unsuccessful. Read more…

Murphy tours region this week

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressman Scott Murphy (D-20th), who has pledged to visit all 137 towns in the 20th District, is about to complete his odyssey this week with a number of stops in and around Columbia County, his office announced Tuesday.

A release from his office says that visiting every town has enabled Congressman Murphy to meet thousands of people across the district and “carry on valuable discussions about today’s critical issues.”

He will begin with a stop in New Lebanon Wednesday and finish his visits Friday afternoon in Stuyvesant. The stops on his whirlwind tour include Canaan, Spencertown, Claverack, Livingston, Taghkanic, Gallatin, Copake, Ancramdale, Stephentown and Millerton.

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Health dept. offers vaccines Tuesday mornings

HUDSON—The Columbia County Health Department will offer seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccine to any county resident Tuesday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon at the health department office, 325 Columbia Street, until the supply is depleted. Both vaccines are free and no appointment is necessary, according to a press release from the department. Read more…

Three hurt in Ghent crash, January 2

GHENT—Three people were seriously hurt in a car crash on Route 217 near Schnackenberg Road, Saturday, January 2 at 11:20 p.m.
Sheriff’s Office Patrol Sergeant William Zincio and Deputy Kris Bauhoff were called to crash scene and upon arrival found a 2001 Dodge four-door sedan off the road, where it had struck a tree, Columbia County Sheriff David Harrison, Jr, said in a press release. Read more…

Saland calls for ban on drop-side cribs

ALBANY–State Senator Stephen M. Saland (R-41st), ranking member of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee, and Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-8th) have introduced legislation to ban the sale of drop-side cribs in the state. The cribs have caused the suffocation deaths of at least two New York infants, and 11 infant fatalities nationwide.

“The tragic death of these infants in New York State and the recall of millions of drop-side cribs clearly signal the potential dangers of these cribs. The state needs to take these defective cribs out of the marketplace now before another child is harmed,” Senator Saland said in a release from his office. Read more…