RENSSELAER COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Democrats in the Rensselaer County Legislature are calling on County Executive Steve McLaughlin to step down after he was charged with two felony charges on Wednesday.
McLaughlin remains in the hot seat after being indicted on charges of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, both felonies.
He is being accused of using campaign funds to pay off a debt he owed to a staffer.
“I have lost faith in this man, I lost faith in him a long time ago,” said Rensselaer County Deputy Minority Leader, Cindy Doran.
The question now is what’s next, as McLaughlin is expected to be in court in January 2022. Doran says she has seen enough.
“I believe he has eroded the public’s confidence and trust. Now with a criminal charge, I do believe he needs to step down and resign,” said she.
“I mean this is going to be an ongoing trial and investigation. I believe it’s going to take away his focus from doing his job,” said Minority Leader of the Rensselaer County Legislature, Peter Grimm.
However, Head of the Rensselaer County Legislature and current Mayor of Rensselaer Mike Stammel says the Legislature and himself were not aware of any such accusations or charges that the Attorney General’s Office has brought forward until Wednesday.
“I believe the county executive will have an opportunity to defend himself and is innocent until found to be guilty by his peers. I believe he should stay active as county executive for Rensselaer County doing the people’s business as he was elected to do,” said Stammel.
Democrats in the Rensselaer County Legislature say they have yet to hear from McLaughlin or his office.
“He’s not making any statements right now and to me, that’s a sign that he is going to have his day in court and it’s not going to go the way he wants,” said Doran.
News10 reached out to County Executive McLaughlin and the Rennselaer County Executive Office. We have not heard back.