Supervisor tells public his indictment changes nothing

Alex Jamieson says felony theft charges are a personal matter that he won't discuss with the public


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Photos



  • The Chester town board at its June 13 meeting; at the daise, from left: Robert Valentine, Cindy Smith, Ryan C. Wensley, town clerk Linda Zappala, supervisor Alex Jaimeson, and Ryan Wensley. Brendan Medican arrived later. (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)




  • Vincent Finizia, front, asked about the dormant ethics committee (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)




  • Tracy Schuh addresses the town board Wednesday night in front of another well-attending meeting (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)




  • The Chester town board at its June 13 meeting; at the dais, from left: Robert Valentine, Cindy Smith, town clerk Linda Zappala, supervisor Alex Jaimeson, Ryan Wensley, and Brendan Medican. (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)




By Frances Ruth Harris

CHESTER — Chester town supervisor Alex Jamieson said last night it would be "business as usual" on the Chester town board, with him retaining his seat and calling his recent indictment a personal matter he won't discuss.

Wednesday night's town board meeting was the first time Jamieson appeared before the public since he was charged with grand larceny for collecting unemployment benefits while working as a public official.

He made his comments after the board dealt with its agenda items, and before the public comment session, when concerns about .

Councilman Brendan Medican, who frequently misses town board meetings, attended last night's meeting and asked for an executive session to discuss personnel. The board made no comment when they re-emerged from the session, and adjourned the meeting immediately afterward.

At an earlier meeting, the board had mentioned that Medican has recently been very busy with his job, with running a farm, and with his new baby. He has not returned calls from The Chronicle.

Check back for more reporting on Wednesday's meeting.

Court date set for July 9Jamieson was in Albany County Court on Wednesday morning for a conference on the charges against him. He faces one count of third-degree grand larceny and 22 counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, all felonies. He's due back in court on July 9.

He was arraigned on June 6 in Albany County Court after his arrest at Chester Town Hall. According to the grand jury indictment, Jamieson allegedly collected about $6,000 from the Department of Labor between June and November of 2014 while employed by the Town of Chester.

Jamieson currently earns $62,475 as a full-time town supervisor, plus an extra $15,000 as a budget officer. His current term as supervisor ends in 2019.

Jamieson told The Chronicle last week that he has no plans of resigning as town supervisor.

Others in the community question whether he should continue as supervisor.

Steve Keahon is one of the founders of Preserve Chester, a group the describes itself as “a bipartisan group brought together to continue to build relationships with our local elected officials now and in the future."

“My fear is that right now we have a real problem across not just our county but our state when it comesato people using the system to their own benefit,” Keahon said earlier in the week. “If our Town Supervisor is doing the same thing, how can he possibly keep the best interest of our town? He is also the Chief Financial Officer for our town.

“We feel trust with the residents is lost,” Keahon continued. “Especially when it comes to the financial aspect. Regardless of what our opinion is how can it possibly be restored? He (Jamieson) has made it very clear he has no intention of stepping down. He is up for election in 2019. I view reelection as a long shot.”

According to New York State law, public officials may be barred from public office if convicted of a felony.

Erika Norton contributed to the reporting of this story.






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