With the federal government well into week two of a shut down, its starting to take a toll on the Capital Region. Federal agencies like the NTSB aren’t working at all, leaving high profile cases with no clear direction.
The National Transportation Safety Board has publicly been putting pressure on the Schoharie County District Attorney to turn over the limousine involved in a deadly accident.
Lee Kindlon represents Nauman Hussein, the operator of the limo company involved. On Monday he had a conference call with Schoharie County District Attorney Susan Mallery to determine where the limo goes when they’re finished with the criminal investigation.
“This was the first time because of the shut down that no one has been able to answer the question what happens when we’re done,” said Kindlon.
I reached out to the NTSB for answers and received an automatic email reply saying:
“I am currently out of the office due to a lapse in appropriations. During my absence, I will not be checking or responding to email. I will respond to your message when the shutdown has ended.”
Local lawmakers like Assemblyman Chris Tague are urging federal representatives to come to an agreement saying:
“It’s critically important our elected officials in Washington work diligently to find consensus so the federal government can reopen. By sidelining the NTSB, Congress could potentially delay this investigation that the victims’ families so rightfully deserve answers to. I hope Congressman Delgado understands the urgency regarding just how important this issue is, and that he will be strong in his commitment to working cooperatively to come to an agreement.”
District attorney Susan Mallery had no comment on this issue.
Congressman Antonio Delgado today who says this investigation is just one reason to reopen the government:
“The government shutdown is completely irresponsible, and as we’re seeing here, it has real consequences in Upstate New York, standing in the way of NTSB fulfilling its responsibilities. The investigation into the crash needs to continue as quickly as possible, and it’s one of the many, many reasons we need to re-open the government.”
Currently the limo is in State Police custody in Latham.