Mayor de­nies re­port over 911 call

Morse claims Times-Union story of Fri­day mo­prn­ing 911 call ‘patently false’

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Mayor Shawn Morse is ve­he­mently deny­ing a pub­lished re­port that he choked and threw his wife to the ground dur­ing a Fri­day morn­ing in­ci­dent in their home.

In a state­ment emailed late Sun­day, as well as a week­end post on his Face­book page, Morse is dis­put­ing an ac­count pub­lished in the Al­bany TimesUnion of a 911 call re­port­edly made by his wife, Brenda. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, Brenda Morse called for help about 7:45 a.m. Fri­day, al­leg­ing her husband had grabbed her by the throat and thrown her down dur­ing an ar­gu­ment, as well as snatch­ing a cell­phone from her hand as she placed the 911 call and smashed the phone.

While the mayor ad­mit­ted he and his wife had an emo­tional dis­cus­sion about one of their chil­dren, he de­nied the con­fronta­tion ever be­came phys­i­cal.

“The claims made in the Al­bany Times-Union are patently false,” Morse said in the state­ment. “As mayor of Cohoes, with the tremen­dous amount of pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment hap­pen­ing in our city, it is un­for­tu­nate that my pri­vate life and my fam­ily be­come gos­sip.

“[W]ith any fam­ily, there are good times and there are chal-

leng­ing times, and dur­ing the chal­leng­ing times, most fam­i­lies get the ben­e­fit of work­ing through these dif­fi­cult times in pri­vate. At this time, my fam­ily and I are re­quest­ing pri­vacy dur­ing this chal­leng­ing and per­sonal time.”

Morse went into more de­tail in his Face­book post, ex­plain­ing he and his wife had a dis­agree­ment about one of their chil­dren the pre­vi­ous day that had con­tin­ued through the night and into Fri­day. Af­ter a sleep­less night, Morse said his wife asked him to leave so she could have some time to think, but he re­fused, say­ing he pre­ferred to con­tinue talk­ing.

“She went up to the bed­room and I went to [Dunkin’ Donuts] to get us a few cof­fees,” he wrote. “When I got back home, the po­lice were at my house. … The po­lice ask[ed] if we would just give each other some space and I left. Thats all that hap­pened.”

In a state­ment re­leased Mon­day af­ter­noon, As­sis­tant Po­lice Chief Tom Ross said city po­lice were turn­ing over their in­ves­ti­ga­tion to state po­lice, cit­ing the fact that Morse also cur­rently serves as the city’s pub­lic safety com­mis­sioner, di­rectly su­per­vis­ing the Po­lice Depart­ment. Ross said the de­ci­sion was en­cour­aged by Morse.

“At this time, I would like to thank the of­fi­cers and sergeant who re­sponded to the ini­tial call, as their work was found to be pro­fes­sional and thor­ough and the case’s trans­fer is in no way a re­flec­tion on their in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” said Ross, who is lead­ing the depart­ment while Chief Wil­liam Hes­lin is on ex­tended sick leave. “This de­ci­sion was made in what is be­lieved to be the best in­ter­est to the fam­ily and all par­ties in­volved go­ing for­ward.”

Morse con­cluded his Face­book post, which had more than 200 mostly pos­i­tive com­ments as of Mon­day morn­ing, with a prom­ise to city res­i­dents.

“If you be­lieve I’m un­fit to be your Mayor over this, I will re­sign!” he said.


Demo­cratic may­oral can­di­date Shawn Morse, right, and his wife, Brenda, stand with Morse’s un­cle, then-Cohoes mayor Ge­orge Primeau, as pri­mary re­sults are re­ported at the city’s Amer­i­can Le­gion post in Septem­ber 2015.

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