Legislators from the Rensselaer County Minority Office have called for District Attorney Joel Abelove to step down.
Abelove is charged with felony perjury and two misdemeanor counts of official misconduct following a grand jury investigation into the handling of the fatal police shooting of a DWI suspect.
Representatives from the Minority Office say they are concerned that such a serious indictment will destroy the public's trust. Abelove's office responded to the call for him to step down, saying he's not going anywhere.
Monday, Rensselaer County minority lawmakers put the pressure on Abelove to step down immediately.
"Once you're indicted by a grand jury, there’s a long process, and we need someone that’s going to be focused on the people of Rensselaer County," said Minority Leader Peter Grimm.
Abelove is under fire for allegedly giving the officer involved in the 2016 police involved fatal shooting of Edson Thevenin improper immunity, and withholding evidence from the grand jury.
On Friday, he pleaded not guilty to all counts.
“I think a person in any elected position should understand the harm he may be causing people. They won't feel they are properly represented," said Grimm.
In their letter, county minority legislators asked the majority for support. They wrote, "We have called upon Rensselaer County Legislature Chairman Stanley Brownell and the entire majority to join us in our request for you to step down.”
Spectrum News spoke to Grimm just moments before Monday night’s county budget meeting, in which next year’s budget was passed unanimously. Now, Grimm, and county Democrats, are hoping for similar unification.
“I don’t think anything is more bipartisan than the concerns of citizens of Rensselaer County," said Grimm.
Brownell declined to comment on this matter following Monday’s budget meeting. For now, it’s the minority pushing the hardest for Abelove to resign.