Tag Archives: Gregory Oakes

Legislators to discuss computer pornography behind closed doors

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County Legislature Chairman Kevin Gardner said Wednesday that the matter of pornography found in a county highway department employee’s computer will be discussed during a closed-door executive session some time in the near future.

There has been no updates on the issue since the April 11 meeting when County Administrator Phil Church stated that one employee had been disciplined and two other computers were being checked.

he allegation that a highway employee spent time at work viewing pornographic pictures and videos was brought to the attention of Legislator Doug Malone by several highway employees, who claimed their complaints to management went unaddressed.

Malone went to District Attorney Gregory Oakes and requested the allegations be looked into. That resulted in a finding of pornography in the employee’s computer.

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News

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DA hopes to appeal ruling in Jones case

DAby Carol Thompson

Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes said he will try to appeal the decision handed down last week by the Appellate Court in the Alan Jones case.

The court reversed Jones’ conviction for the crime of murder in the second degree (depraved indifference murder) for causing the death of his 11-year-old stepsister, Erin Maxwell, while in their town of Palermo home in 2008.

The appellate Court held that, as a matter of law, the evidence before the jury was legally insufficient to establish that Jones acted with the mental state of depraved indifference at the time he caused Erin’s death.

In a unanimous decision, the state Supreme Court Appellate Division in Rochester concluded there was insufficient evidence to support the finding that Jones acted with depraved indifference to human life and recklessly killed the 11-year-old.

The decision could make Jones eligible for parole in as few as six years if given the maximum sentence under the lesser charge with credit for the time he’s already served in prison. Jones will be sent back to Oswego County Court for re-sentencing. The maximum sentence the judge can impose is 15 years for the lesser charge of second degree manslaughter.

If he can appeal, Oakes will attempt to have the murder conviction reinstated.

Jones, 31, is currently serving 25 years to life in state prison on the murder charge. He was convicted of second-degree murder following a 2009 trial.

To read the rest of the story, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397

Alan Jones’ murder conviction reduced to manslaughter

by Carol Thompson

The Appellate Division, Fourth Department, released its decision in the case of People v. Alan Jones today.

The court reversed Jones’s conviction for the crime of murder in the second degree (depraved indifference murder) for causing the death of his 11-year old stepsister, Erin  Maxwell, while in their Town of Palermo home in 2008.

The appellate court held that, as a matter of law, the evidence before the jury was legally insufficient to establish that Jones acted with the mental state of depraved indifference at the time he caused Erin’s death.

In a press release issued by Oswego County District Attorney Greg Oakes, it is stated that the appellate court found that the evidence before the jury sufficiently established the lesser-included offense of second-degree manslaughter, meaning that Jones recklessly caused her death.

The court therefore reduced the conviction to second-degree manslaughter and transferred the case back to the Oswego County Court for sentencing on the reduced charge, which carries a maximum of sentence of 5 to 15 years in state prison.

The case was originally prosecuted by then-Oswego County District Attorney Donald Dodd, who indicted and tried the case under the theory of depraved indifference murder. Dodd retired at the end of 2011.

Current Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes, who took office Jan. 1, argued the appeal on behalf of his office.

Oakes indicated that he is saddened by the appellate court’s decision to reduce the conviction, stating that he believes Jones deserves the 25 years to life sentence originally imposed by Judge Hafner.

Oakes stated, “The court’s decision affirms the jury’s finding that Jones caused Erin’s death. He committed a wicked and horrendous act against an innocent child, and he deserves to spend the rest of his life in a cell.”

Oakes stated that he will try to appeal the case to the Court of Appeals and seek to have the murder conviction reinstated.

Oakes added, “While no conviction can undo this tragedy, as a matter of justice, I will do everything in my power to make sure that Jones is held fully accountable for Erin’s death. Erin deserves nothing less.”

Two New York State Troopers exit the 420 Emporium on Broadway in Fulton Wednesday afternoon. The Fulton Police Department, the Oswego Police Department, the State Police, and the Drug Enforcement Administration raided the “head shop.”

Fulton ‘head shop’ raided by local and federal agents

Two New York State Troopers exit the 420 Emporium on Broadway in Fulton Wednesday afternoon. The Fulton Police Department, the Oswego Police Department, the State Police, and the Drug Enforcement Administration raided the “head shop.”

by Carol Thompson

Just days after President Barack Obama signed a bill making bath salts and synthetic marijuana illegal, authorities across Central New York raided shops suspected of selling the now illegal substances.

The 420 Emporium in the City of Fulton was one of the many shops targeted. The raids were conduced by multiple law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and state and local officials.

In Fulton, residents were cheering the raid from across the street as it took place.

The nationally coordinated raids took place in New York, Minnesota, California, Ohio, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and other states.

Over the past two years, the country has seen a surge in the use of synthetic drugs.

Earlier this week, Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes gave members of the legislature’s Strategic Planning and Government Committee an update on the drug use locally. (see related story).

The bath salts have led to a surge in arrests that are caused by the hallucinate effects of the drugs.

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Welfare fraud program leads to 25 arrests

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes gave the legislature’s Strategic Planning and Government Committee an update on the new welfare prosecution program Monday morning.

County Administrator Phil Church and Barry Leemann, who was the legislature chairman at the time, approached Oakes with concerns in regard to welfare fraud cases.

“Since we’ve began this program we’ve had 25 arrests,” Oakes said.

Between October and December, there have been 11 felony arrests. As of the first of the year, there have been 14 arrests. The total number of arrests in four years is 29.

“So essentially in the last three months, we’ve got what we had four years prior,” Oakes said.

He added that the staff is building great cases. “I thank this body,” Oakes said to the committee for allowing his department the resources to do the work.

The county has recovered $57,861 since the first of the year. The amount of $48,924 has been paid to the county Department of Social Services. Approximately $5,700 is being recouped through diminished benefits and $3,182 is being paid through probation.

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Legislators want state to halt mandates

by Carol Thompson

The large raise handed down by the state for Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes sparked a discussion in regard to unfunded state mandates that are strapping the county coffer.

During Monday’s meeting, the legislature’s Strategic Planning and Government Committee approved the salary increase for Oakes, which will jump from $119,800 annually to a minimum of $140,166, an increase of more than $20,000.

Legislator Doug Malone suggested that the legislature send a resolution to oppose the unfunded mandates because the raise was not budgeted.

County Administrator Phil Church said he could prepare a resolution for the next meeting that would address not only the issue of the raise, but other issues as well that impact the county budget due to unfunded mandates.

“As long as there’s enough teeth put into it,” Malone said.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397

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Ethics leak probe now in hands of Oswego County district attorney

by Carol Thompson

Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes said Thursday that he will begin to gather information in regard to an ethics board leak that occurred late last year.

“At this point, I’m trying to gather information,” Oakes said.

He added that he will speak with the person who complained to get more background information.

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