The bizarre case of F. James Germano has a trial date of April 7, according to records from the Indian River County, Florida, clerk of the court.
According to the Vero Beach arrest report, the former longtime North Greenbush Democratic Party boss pulled up to a bus stop driving a black Cadillac and allegedly offered to pay a 12-year-old boy $50 for “sexual favors.” The boy called his mother, who lived some five miles away, and upon her arrival Germano allegedly solicited her for like favors before driving off.
Germano, 84, was arrested in November, 2012 on five charges – procuring a person under the age of 18 for prostitution, committing a lewd, lascivious or indecent act, solicitation for prostitution and two for stalking. All but the solicitation for prostitution, a misdemeanor, and the lewd, lascivious, indecent act felony have been dropped. Each stalking charge was a misdemeanor, while the procuring an underage person for prostitution is a felony. The last charge was dropped and he was re-arrested and charged with the lewd and lascivious act in December, 2012.
Germano, who plead not guilty, remains free on $65,000 bail – $50,000 after his first arrest and another $15,000 after he was re-arrested.
According to records, the case is working its way through the process with depositions completed and evidence has been shared under discovery.
Before stepping down in 2002, Germano had a colorful 40-year run with the Democratic Party. That same year he was indicted along with then Rensselaer County Executive Henry Zwack and three top aides on charges the five conspired to circumvent Civil Service Law to benefit Germano’s grandson in exchange for the elder Germano’s political support. A jury acquitted all five.
Prior to his downfall, Germano controlled all things political in North Greenbush- including the Democratic, Republican, Independence and Conservative party lines - and had considerable influence beyond the town’s border. Here is a column I wrote about some of his more amusing antics.