COOPERSTOWN – Thomas Lagan, one of the investors in a 2015 effort to build a downtown hotel here, was sentenced to six and a half years in federal prison this morning for allegations arising from the disposal of an estate after the deaths of philanthropists Warren and Pauline Bruggeman, RPI benefactors, the Times Union is reporting.
In all, the Bruggeman and other estates involved the misallocation of $12 million, the newspaper reported.
Senior U.S. District Judge Lawrence Khan also ordered Lagan, 61, whose residence is Cooperstown, to pay more than $7.7 million in restitution to the victims, including beneficiaries of his former clients, churches and charities.
Lagan’s former business partner and co-conspirator, ex-Guilderland Town Justice Richard Sherwood, who also pleaded guilty in the case, is yet to be sentenced. Sherwood owes more than $5.5 million in restitution.
ONEONTA – Oneonta police officers and firefighters rushed to the spillway between the Oneonta Creek and Neahwa Park last evening to rescue a woman who had gone into the water in an alleged suicide attempt, OPD Lt. Christopher Witzenburg reports.
The woman, 34, was reported missing by family members who told police she had threatened self-harm. She allegedly told her family that she was under a bridge by some water, and Officer Kristen Lapointe spotted her behind the Post Office, headed south towards the railroad tracks.
When Lapointe attempted to make contact with her, the woman went into the creek at the Neahwa Park spillway.
COOPERSTOWN – Kimberly Steeley, the woman accused of smothering her twins Bonde and Liam in 2018, did so by falling asleep while in bed with the children, District Attorney John Muehl told Judge John Lambert during a suppression hearing in Otsego County Court on Monday.
“She told police she nodded off in bed with them,” he said. “She was reckless, and there is evidence that she was abusing prescription medication to the point of intoxication while she was caring for them.”
Muehl also asked that Steeley’s three DUI convictions, including one in the Town of Maryland in January 2018, five months before the twins’ deaths, should be used as evidence to her recklessness in her upcoming trial.
EXETER – Five of 12 trucks inspected during a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement safety check inspection were deemed unfit for the road and taken out of service, the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department reported on their Facebook page.
On Thursday, Dec. 5, Deputy Sheriff Grimes along with Deputy Sheriff Thornhill partnered with the NYS Department of Transportation in the Town of Exeter to conduct a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement safety check inspection.
COOPERSTOWN – Stephanie Shulgay, who was charged with stealing more than $32,000 from the elderly couple who employed her as a home health aide, has plead guilty to Grand Larceny, fourth degree, according to District Attorney John Muehl.
“You can’t take advantage of people like that,” he said.
Over 15 months, Shulgay stole money from the couple by using their credit and debit cards between July 2017 and October 2018, while she was in their employ. According to Muehl, she said it was because she had a gambling addiction, but he noted that she had also used the money for travel and expensive meals.
ONEONTA – Oneonta Police and State Police are asking for tips in finding Aidan Demorier, 16, who was reported missing from Bloomville on Nov. 19.
Demorier is 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, with brown eyes and blonde hair. He was last seen wearing black sweatpants with a white stripe down the sides and a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt. He was last seen in the Norwich area.
ONEONTA – A fire at a home on Winney Hill Road in Oneonta started on the back porch and spread into the kitchen, but fire companies were able to put it out before it consumed the whole house, Oneonta Fire Chief Patrick Pidgeon reported.
According to Pidgeon, the fire at the house on 290 Winney Hill Road, a neighbor called in the fire, which started on the back porch at 5:16 p.m. Oneonta, West Oneonta, Franklin and Franklin FAST were on the scene, with Otego and Laurens Fire and EMS squads on standby and for coverage, and fire fighters quickly knocked the fire down.
ONEONTA – With 53 violations, including selling alcohol to minors, employing unlicensed bouncers and failing to supervise patrons, the state Liquor Authority has suspended the liquor license of the Sip & Sail Tavern, effective immediately, following a Friday night raid where police seized more than 140 fake IDs.
“This licensee has displayed a disturbing indifference to the law by pursuing a business plan seemingly based on catering to minors,” said SLA Chairman Vincent Bradley. “The SLA will continue to take immediate action against bar owners who fail to take basic measures to ensure their patrons are of legal age, including checking IDs, training employees and obtaining scanners to spot fakes.”
COOPERSTOWN – The Otsego County grand jury has indicted Dylan Robinson, 15, Alexander Borgreen, 16, Anais Soto, 15 and Nicolas Meridy, 32, for the murder of Dylan’s father Kenneth Robinson, 53, inside his Worcester home in October, District Attorney John Muehl announced this morning.
The three teens and Meridy were indicted on Murder, second degree, Burglary, first degree and Attempted Robbery, first degree.
Muehl has said they broke into the house with the intent of stealing marijuana and money and, in the course of that robbery, Dylan shot his father in the chest and the head.
ONEONTA – A man arrested during a domestic dispute then slipped his handcuffs and attacked two female police officers inside the Oneonta Police Station, Police Chief Doug Brenner reported today.
Zachary M. Kaplan, 29, was arrested by Officers Kristen LaPointe and Amanda Catapano following a call that he was violating an order of protection, said Brenner. “He gave them no problems at the scene, put his hands behind his back and got in the patrol car,” the chief said.
“Normally, if it was someone with no criminal history, I might have charged them with a misdemeanor if they agreed to pay restitution,” said Meuhl. “But because of who the victim was, I insisted on a felony. You don’t steal from the food pantry.”
Carl K. Pritchard, Exeter, was charged with a misdemeanor of over-driving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance and a violation for failing to provide appropriate shelter for dogs left outdoors.
“The dog was chained to the ground with a plastic pet carrier that had hay at the bottom,” said Trooper Aga Dembinska, public relations, Troop C. “There was no food bowl and a frozen-over water bowl.”