Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse is Charged With Lying to Federal Investigators

Cantara: 1-800-LAW-1010, Martin, Harding, and Mazzotti. Of course, Paul Harding on the horn. I heard that Mazzotti guy doing one of your commercials. That’s kinda cool.

Paul: Yeah. He’s great. Yeah. He’s on most of them. Vic is the straight guy. He’s the hardcore trial lawyer, and he just really does great anytime there’s a public appearance.

Cantara: I thought you were a hardcore trial lawyer, Paul.

Paul: Well, there’s all levels of hardcore, I guess. So he’s that next level up.

Cantara: So we’re talking about Cohoes mayor, Shawn Morse. The common council said, “Please take a leave of absence or don’t come to work,” and he said, “I’m coming to work,” although yesterday, he didn’t actually show up. And my thought is when you’re getting a divorce, you don’t move out of the house because then you’re kinda just handing it over. So maybe he said he’s coming to work but didn’t show up because he didn’t wanna just hand it over.

Quinn: Right. Because that would create cause or something. Maybe he’s got checks against his…

Cantara: Is my thought process anywhere near accurate on that?

Paul: Well, it’s near accurate, but I think what happened here is that they can’t make him step down. All they can do is do what they call resolution, “We would like you to consider doing this, mayor,” and the mayor said, “No. I’m not going to step down.” Him not showing up, probably just missed the media day, missed some harassment he might get from folks in the town. They do miss meetings, but we’ll see. He has to attend some of them. My guess is that we’ll see him at the next one.

Cantara: Doesn’t he have a paper trail, though? Isn’t there a record? From everybody I’m talking to in the media, a lot of people are saying, “He’s a bad guy. Just look at his past.”

Paul: Oh, he’s got so many charges, from his wife to his daughter to his daughter’s boyfriend to past folks, but one thing that I thought was notable is that as many times as the state police, and we’ve got the Albany County Sheriff, The Colony Police being called to Wolf Road, he was actually spitting on someone, spit on his wife, that he’s never been charged with domestic violence. And usually, any reasonable set of facts, someone is charged.

So yeah. Usually, when there’s smoke, there’s fire, and that may be the case here. But certainly, one has to point on the fact that he’s just never been charged with these things, and it’s not a hard charge to get lodged against you if someone makes an allegation.

Cantara: All right. So what am I left here to speculate? If this is a podcast, I’m leaning towards, maybe he’s got someone on the inside who’s helping him out a little bit.

Quinn: Or maybe the wife refuses to press charges because she’s terrified that it’s gonna happen again.

Paul: Well, it could be absolutely that set of facts, but they anticipate that sort of thing and they attempt to sort of elicit that. But then again, we’ve got daughter, we’ve got this daughter’s boyfriend, and again, nothing’s been…

But what’s really going on here is these federal charges. Now, the federal government took a look at him and these charges against him, not only for lying to federal investigators, which is always the first mistake somebody makes. You just can’t lie to the federal investigation. Don’t, but you could lie to a local police officer, there’s no additional charge, but when you lie to federal investigators and they prove that was a lie, sometimes that’s the one puts you away. But in addition…

Cantara: Wait a minute. Then this is only my job to speculate because I have no idea what really happened. Maybe he took some of the campaign money and paid off the police to not charge him.

Quinn: Oh my God. Paul, back up. You don’t wanna be anywhere near that idea.

Cantara: I’m kidding Cohoes PD.

Paul: I feel like there’s a…

Cantara: I love you.

Paul: …Netflix original series. Yeah. We’re gonna get some energy. Yeah. Probably not, but again, conspiracy theories will often surface. But yeah. These campaign donation, you got the campaign treasurer who looks like he’s gonna testify against him. He’s kinda cutting a deal, accepting a plea. So probably, this does not fare well for Mayor Morse.

Cantara: But what is he staring at if he’s found guilty on some of these charges? Actual jail time?

Paul: Oh, yeah. Yeah. There’s jail time when you’re just lying to the federal… Again, the federal police come. The federal investigators, they come talk to you. You tell them an untruth, and if it’s proven, we’ve seen Jackie Joyner-Kearse, remember all these folks. That’s where they tried to get Clement. It didn’t work. But if you show someone is lying, six months in jail, that kind of a thing.

The other charges are much more serious. If he took campaign donations and used them for his personal use and tried to cover them up, that has sentencing guidelines that has years attached to it.

Cantara: Does he get any money after a certain amount of time, being the mayor? Is there reason for him to stick around, financially? I don’t know.

Paul: Right. Yeah. I mean, there’s that whole thing. Sure. You get so many years in the system, so to speak, so you can continue to get your pension. You’ve seen people that have just needed one more year. They take a job as a correction officer. They were a former legislator, but they take a job as a correction officer to get that time in the system. I don’t know. But he’s a guy who, through all this, could’ve stepped down so many different times and elected not to. Again, feels an injustice. Tough guy, but now, it’s the federal government, and usually, things don’t work out so great once they’ve got you [crosstalk 00:05:10].

Cantara: And this is all too bad because Quinn used to live in Cohoes and I’ve been there a bunch recently.

Quinn: I’m a former Cohosian.

Cantara: It could be a really cool little town.

Quinn: God. And I said that when I first moved here.

Cantara: You know what I mean? And I feel like the Mayor is plugging it up with his politics and his criminality.

Quinn: There’s so much potential there. It already is a really cool town. It’s got so much more potential, though. Hey, Paul Harding. Thank you for allowing us to speculate with you. We know that that’s tough sometimes because you’re actually a real lawyer.

Cantara: He’s a professional. But so you know, there’s six degrees of buffer zone between Quinn’s opinions and Paul.

Quinn: Yeah, right.

Paul: That’s correct. Yes.

Cantara: Just for safety sake.

Quinn: [crosstalk 00:05:41] firewalls and everything. Paul Harding, Martin, Harding, and Mazzotti, 1-800-LAW-1010, Paul, thanks, buddy. Have a good one.

Cantara: Thanks, Paul.

Paul: All right. Talk soon. Thanks, guys.

Quinn: See ya, pal.

Announcer: Quinn and Cantara in the morning, and nothing but classic rock all day, PYX 106.