TROY, NY – Mayor Patrick Madden has issued the following statement in response a Times Union story published Wednesday regarding the guilty plea by Troy City Councilmember Kim Ashe-McPherson to a felony charge of absentee ballot-fraud:
“I am extremely disappointed by today’s news of absentee ballot fraud uncovered by federal investigators involving a member of the City Council. Make no mistake about it: the filing of fraudulent absentee ballots was a purposeful effort to subvert the will of the voters in Troy.
“These actions – intended to change the outcome of local elections – damage the institution of the City Council and further erode confidence in the election process and frankly, government in general. They also call into question the legitimacy of several close Troy City Council elections of recent years.
“We also understand that this was not an isolated event and that several other employees of Rensselaer County are also under federal investigation.
“Councilmember Ashe-McPherson needs to step down immediately so the City Council can continue their important business free of controversy and distraction. It is the Council’s role to fill that vacancy and I am recommending Steven Figueroa for the position. He has repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to the residents of North Central, particularly the youth, and will serve them well on the Council. Mr. Figueroa ran for this seat in the last election, and one cannot discount the very real possibility that he would have been elected without the involvement of potentially fraudulent ballots.”
UPDATE: Due to the expected absence of a sitting Council member at tonight’s City Council meeting, the sponsors are withdrawing Resolution 70 from consideration this evening.