Two people at the center of the FBI inquiry into the goings on in Troy – albeit for different reasons – now have attorneys.
Sources tell me Bill Dunne, the Planning Department commissioner, has retained Jim Long, a longtime attorney who has done extensive work for the Democratic Party on both sides of the river. And City Engineer Russ Reeves, who was recently questioned by the FBI, has retained Michael Shanley, a longtime attorney who was described to be as an “old warhorse.” It is not believed Shanley - who is not the ADA by the same name and it's not Terry or Don Shanley - accompanied Reeves when he went to Albany to talk with the FBI.
To recap, the FBI is asking questions about the demolition on King Street, the installation of sidewalks in North Central and the questionable use of federal Community Development Block Grant money and the deal to sell the Scolite property to RJ Valente.
Reeves was called in to answer some questions and generally the FBI doesn’t call in potential targets. Dunne was suspended for five days without pay for not fully informing his boss, Mayor Lou Rosamilia, about the new sidewalks in front of Freedom Park in North Central – which were not among the CDBG projects approved by the Council.
While Dunne wasn’t directly involved in the demolition of buildings adjacent to Bomber’s Burrito on King Street it was questionable in they were vacant for years but were declared such a threat to public safety Fire Chief Tom Garrett ordered them immediately torn down without taking time to abate the asbestos. Also, coincidentally, the demolition was ordered while Reeves was on vacation. The questions on everyone’s mind is why were they demolished and who ordered Garrett to take them down?
Dunne also played an integral part of putting together the deal to sell the Scolite property to Valente, which the Council is set to vote on Thursday. Other bidders, including Perry Companies, a conglomerate that includes Don Fane, claim the city modified the parameters of the Request for Proposal after bids were taken and are threatening a lawsuit should it be approved. Modifications include the construction of a $9-plus million road and the ability to lease the property with a $100,000 down payment rather than the $1 million purchase price.
Most recently Long represented former City Clerk Bill McInerney during the years long voter fraud scandal. McInerney admitted on the stand to forging scores of minor party absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots during the ’09 election but struck a deal with special prosecutor Trey Smith to avoid jail time.