Kevin McGrath is Right About a Smear Campaign – His Own Actions Are Smearing Troy’s Reputation

April 13, 2012 at 11:47 am (Drug Deal, Felony, Free Speech, James Gordon, Kevin McGrath, Lou Rosamilia, Lynn Kopka, New York, Times Union, Troy, Voter Fraud)

Thursday’s edition of Inside Politics saw the Times Union getting up to speed on a story first published here last week, in which Troy City Council Democrats censored James Gordon for having the gall to request a review of a morally challenged convicted felon who is actively serving on the council.  Kevin McGrath, the councilman who currently serves more as a distraction and embarrassment than a viable public servant, is the man in question.

In the Times Union piece, McGrath once again brushes off valid concerns of the citizens of Troy by saying any attention being focused on him is merely “a smear campaign”.

McGrath is right.  The smear campaign has not been conducted by the GOP however, it has been waged by McGrath himself on the City of Troy.

Kevin McGrath’s moral bankrputcy has smeared the City of Troy.

When he ran for public office despite being ‘concerned’ about his history of substance abuse and ‘the fact that he is a convicted felon‘, he smeared the City of Troy.

The City of Troy and the judge in the voter fraud trial were smeared when McGrath’s testimony involved cracking a joke about his lack of drug-peddling business savvy – a comment that forced him to apologize to the judge.

The public was once again smeared when details of McGrath’s drug selling prowess were proven false – he was one of 17 arrested for an open-air drug network that operated at a profit of ‘a few million dollars’.  It was the arrest that earned him the honor of convicted felon.

The people of the City of Troy, along with the integrity of the entire local election process were smeared when McGrath was presented with a stack of forged absentee ballots that defense attorney Brian Premo alleged were handled by the Councilman himself.  While Premo had only made allegations according to the media reports, court transcripts show an exchange in which he asks McGrath if he realizes he “committed crimes in this case”.  To which McGrath responds, “I have been told, yes.”

Perhaps the ultimate smear on the City was this – when presented with forged ballots that the defense attorney said were handled by McGrath personally, he blamed the voters for any confusion about his handling of their ballots.

Indeed, McGrath has been a participant in a disgusting smear campaign – his actions have smeared the City of Troy, and its residents are left cleaning up the trail of slime left in his wake.

That said, two points regarding the Times Union piece yesterday:

First – The article states that Lynn Kopka ruled Gordon out of order for personal attacks.  The way that it is written would make the reader think that she was accurate in that assessment, which she was not.  If citizens are not allowed to cite facts – provable facts at that – when voicing concerns over a sitting Council member, then that is a major problem.  Now, any item that Kopka disagrees with can be gaveled out of order as an alleged personal attack.

Second – The last sentence reads in a manner that gives the impression that McGrath would have to have been charged in order for the Council to take action.  This too, is false.  The charter specifically cites ‘disorderly conduct and malfeasance’ as means to expel a Council member.  McGrath may yet face charges for ballots forged on the Conservative and Independent lines.  He was shown to have admitted in court that he had committed crimes.  He just recently admitted to felony drug charges.  If these things do not constitute disorderly conduct, then I am at a loss.

As for James Gordon’s right to free speech having been violated, I have contacted the Council and the Mayor’s office several times since the video of the meeting surfaced, and have yet to receive a response. 

Mayor Lou Rosamilia and Council President Lynn Kopka can only hide behind their gavels and closed doors for so long – at some point they have to address the expulsion of Kevin McGrath, or continue dodging questions about an election-rigging, convicted felon in their midst. 

I should think the former would be the easiest route.

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Kevin McGrath: Does the ‘D’ Stand For Democrat, Drugs, or Deals?

March 19, 2012 at 10:51 am (Ballot Fraud, Brendan Lyons, Brian Premo, Deals, Democrats, Drugs, Felony, Kevin McGrath, New York, Troy, Voter Fraud)

The answer of course, is yes.

Last month, current Troy City Councilman Kevin McGrath took the witness stand at the local voter fraud trial, and having recently accepted a plea deal in the trial, delivered testimony laced with sheepish statements, deep regret, and a pained look of remorse on his face.

Just kidding – McGrath actually cracked jokes about his felonious drug dealing past. 

During his stint on the stand, McGrath admitted being concerned about running for public office because of his history of substance abuse, and ‘the fact that he is a convicted felon’.  His concern quickly dissipated however, as he cracked a joke about his lack of drug-peddling business savvy, stating that he “wasn’t too good” because he “didn’t make a profit” – comments that forced him to apologize to the judge.

Methinks the councilman is being a bit modest in his assessment of his drug dealing capabilities.  A fantastic report by

Brendan Lyons of the Times Union shows that McGrath was part of a highly successful network that ran “open-air” drug transactions from a home on Fourth Street in Troy.

A DEA-led investigation had indicated that the 17 individuals arrested (including McGrath), were operating their business at a profit of a ‘few million dollars’.  McGrath pled guilty but received a cooperation agreement which resulted in home confinement and ultimately three years of probation.

Additionally, it should be noted that McGrath wasn’t simply making a joke about something that happened 14 years ago. On January 31st, Thomas Dickinson testified during the same trial, that “he used to drink and drive and do drugs with McGrath” less than two years ago.

Clearly, McGrath’s comments on the stand show a pattern of not accepting responsibility for past behaviors, making jokes in an effort to minimalize his role in the drug arrest.  But a felony conviction in a multi-million dollar drug trafficking operation is no laughing matter.

The voter fraud testimony reveals another pattern with McGrath, however – one of receiving favorable deals in major legal matters.  First came the drug agreement, followed by what one fellow Democrat called “the deal of a lifetime” in the voter fraud trial.

Despite the possibility of being a major piece in the ballot fraud scheme, McGrath was given yet another cooperation deal.  The Times Union report questions such a deal for a man who already had a prior conviction.  They also wisely point out that McGrath is a well-connected Democrat, being the brother of state Supreme Court justice, Patrick McGrath.

One of the defense attorneys for the ballot fraud case, Brian Premo, has fervently questioned McGrath’s deal and whether it was a result of close ties to the Democrat political machine.  The Union report states:

A year ago, Premo had attacked the prosecutor’s decision to grant immunity to McGrath and several other Democrats implicated in the scheme. In pretrial filings, Premo suggested that McGrath was heavily involved but had been given immunity, in part, because his brother is a judge and the family has strong ties to the county’s Democratic machine.

“In short, the relevant facts and irrefutable evidence establish that the (special prosecutor) has apparently for conflicting personal interests and political reasons brought this prosecution against McDonough and LoPorto instead of the Democrat Troy Council incumbents and/or party workers implicated by substantial credible evidence in the alleged crimes,” Premo wrote in a pretrial memorandum.

Former Democrat Party Chairman, Frank LaPosta, referred to the arrangement as “the deal of a lifetime”.

Troy City Councilman Kevin McGrath, D-District 1, got the deal of a lifetime revealed in a recently disclosed cooperation agreement with the special prosecutor in the Troy voter fraud investigation. This agreement allows McGrath to avoid criminal prosecution for any wrongdoing on his part in the voter fraud scandal…

That wrongdoing may have included a bit of forgery of his own…

At the trial last month, Premo pressed McGrath about his criminal background. He also confronted McGrath with a stack of absentee ballots that were not part of Smith’s case but showed what Premo suggested were other forged ballots handled personally by McGrath.

If the agreement only pertains to the WFP, and Premo is able to prove that McGrath’s forgery attempts crossed into the Independent and Conservative lines, then he may yet face charges.

That said, McGrath’s history is too checkered to ignore.  It needs to be addressed today.  From drug deals, to plea deals, his record is a blight on Troy politics specifically, and New York politics in general.

We are calling on Kevin McGrath to finally do what is right for the city of Troy, and tender his resignation immediately.

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Democrat Councilman Jokes About His Felony Drug Conviction

February 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm (Ballot, Democrats, Drugs, DWI, Ed McDonough, Felony, Frank LaPosta, Harry Tutunjian, Kevin McGrath, Michael LoPorto, New York, Troy, Voter Fraud, WFP, Working Families Party)

Kevin McGrath, who currently sits on the Troy City Council, testified yesterday at the upstate New York voter fraud trial, that he was concerned about running for public office because of his history of substance abuse, and ‘the fact that he is a convicted felon’.

These days it seems, McGrath is far less concerned about public perception, at one point cracking a joke about his lack of drug-peddling business savvy – a comment that forced him to apologize to the judge.

During his testimony, McGrath stated that he was not convicted of distributing  220 lbs. of pot, but rather, he was involved with less than 10 lbs, or 100 kg.  Which led him to deadpan this joke – “I wasn’t too good. Didn’t make much of a profit.”  The comment prompted an apology for Judge Pulver.  Apparently, making light of a serious crime doesn’t sit well in Pulver’s courtroom.


McGrath’s joke prompted a tweet from the former Mayor of Troy, Harry Tutunjian, who is attending the trial as an observer.

So now a current city councilman can joke about not having made a profit selling drugs? He plead guilty to a federal felony #ballotfraud — Harry4Troy (@Harry4Troy)

Indeed, McGrath did plead guilty to a federal felony.  On a blog called Talespin, Record reporter Jim Franco explains:

Well, now we know about the mysterious arrests that have been the subject of a sporadic, if not intense, whisper campaign about Kevin McGrath, D-District 1.

On the stand yesterday, McGrath said he was convicted on federal charges of conspiring to sell pot some 14 years ago. Initially it was said in court there was 100 kilograms involved but today he said it was more like 10 pounds. He also had a criminal mischief conviction thrown in and two drinking related convictions.

Of course, there are those, on both sides of the aisle, who are asking the rhetorical question of how is he fit he is fit to serve on the Council?

It should be noted that McGrath wasn’t simply making a joke about something that happened 14 years ago. On January 31st, Thomas Dickinson testified that “he used to drink and drive and do drugs with McGrath” less than two years ago.

Of course, this entire trial has some wondering how exactly McGrath was able to avoid being charged with new felonies, like his counterparts Ed McDonough and Michael LoPorto, who face a combined one hundred-plus charges in the voter fraud scandal.  In a June op-ed, former Democrat Party Chairman, Frank LaPosta, wrote:

Troy City Councilman Kevin McGrath, D-District 1, got the deal of a lifetime revealed in a recently disclosed cooperation agreement with the special prosecutor in the Troy voter fraud investigation. This agreement allows McGrath to avoid criminal prosecution for any wrongdoing on his part in the voter fraud scandal…
The people of District 1 and the city of Troy have a right to know why McGrath was given such favorable treatment to avoid criminal prosecution for acts he may have committed as part of the voter fraud scandal. These acts are very similar to what two individuals did who were in turn indicted by the same grand jury for multiple felony counts of alleged fraud and forgery. McGrath himself benefitted from the voter fraud in 2009 which allowed him to secure the Working Families party line on the ballot.

Details of the immunity agreement came out during yesterday’s testimony when McGrath admitted on the stand that he has gotten favorable treatment, meaning no prison time, for several alleged crimes, including a felony drug conviction.

It should be noted that LaPosta, who was Chairman at the time of the voter fraud scandal, faced no investigation and has maintained that all of this happened on his watch, but unbeknownst to him.  One tends to believe his story, as LaPosta had to switch parties over the scandal, eventually running against – and losing – to Kevin McGrath in the Council race.  After the fraud, LaPosta was forced out by his own party, for the crime of speaking out against fellow Democrats who had been involved in the voter fraud.

In regards to the favorable agreement which McGrath was privy to, there may be some holes…

The Record reports this morning:

Just as things got underway Wednesday in the trial of two Democrats suspected of being involved in the 2009 Working Families Party ballot fraud scheme, attorney Brian Premo dropped a small bit of information that sent the court into recess.

Premo began reading off several voter registration cards and absentee ballot applications to Councilman Kevin McGrath, D-District 1, during his cross-examination that were collected by McGrath for the several primaries he was involved in on different party lines. By the end of it, he asked what was done with them and McGrath responded he had given them to Board of Elections Commissioner Ed McDonough, Premo’s client who along with former Councilman Michael LoPorto stands charged with more than 100 felonies…

“I believe there are approximately 20 of those applications with documentation of voter registration forms that are forgeries,” Premo said. “There are several that are not even close and 20 that are questionable.”

It was then asked whether McGrath’s cooperation agreement with Trey Smith, the special prosecutor, covers the Independence and the Conservative parties and or if it is constricted to just the Working Families Party.

If the agreement only pertains to the WFP, and Premo is able to prove that McGrath’s forgery attempts crossed into the Independent and Conservative lines, then he may yet face charges.

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11-Year-Old Arrested… For the Second Time in a Month

February 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm (11 Year Old, Child Arrest, East Greenbush, Felony, Hudson River, Interstate 90, New York, Stolen Car)

When I was 11, I was still playing with Transformers and building Voltron out of Legos…

Via the Times Union:

A Sunday night traffic stop just past the intersection of routes 4 and 151 was remarkable for a number of reasons.

The driver was in fifth grade — and it’s his second arrest in the last month.

The 11-year-old boy was driving a 2006 Mercury Grand Marquis, a 15-foot-long, 2-ton boat of a sedan police say he stole in Albany. The child drove for nearly 10 miles before he was pulled over by town police, who believe the boy likely got over the Hudson River by way of Interstate 90 and the Patroon Island Bridge.

The boy’s arrest was not his first run-in with law enforcement — not even his first in the past month.

The fifth grader, a wiry 5-foot-4, 130-pound child who police say looks older than his age, was arrested on Jan. 28 for allegedly breaking into a frame shop on Center Square and nearby parked cars. Sunday’s arrest was the boy’s second for an alleged felony in 18 days.

The boy’s mother came to pick him up at the police station a couple of hours later.

What a relief.

Maybe knowing where your 11-year-old is prior to his committing a felony would be a good idea.  How do you lose a child that age long enough for him to steal a car, take it for a joy ride, and get arrested?

Read the rest here…

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