Ulster County Legislature candidate accused of criminal trespass

Chris Allen

Charges against District 2 County Legislature candidate Christopher P. Allen alleging criminal trespass have been filed with the Village of Saugerties Court. According to the complaint, lodged by Saugerties resident Paul Fowler, at about 7:58 p.m. on Oct. 30, Allen entered his residence through an unlocked door and verbally harassed him and his girlfriend, Gail Ferris, for approximately five minutes. Fowler alleges that he asked Allen to leave the residence four times before the legislative hopeful, who faced off Tuesday against Democrat John Schoonmaker and Republican Al Bruno for the seat he occupied before being defeated two years ago by Joe Maloney (who isn’t running for re-election) complied. Allen finished third in the election.

Contacted Monday, Nov. 4, Allen called the whole thing “a bunch of lies.”

“Charges have brought against him and they have been filed with a local criminal court,” said Saugerties Police Chief Joe Sinagra Monday. “[He] will be charged after arraignment. A criminal summons will be issued by the court directing Mr. Allen to appear before the local criminal court to answer the charge. At that time, the judge will instruct the defendant to then come to the Saugerties Police Department for the purposes of being fingerprinted and photographed…there are three methods [to arrest someone] — we either arrest you right on the spot, we arrest you with an appearance ticket [for the local court] or we file for a criminal summons.”

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Sinagra said that because Allen is accused of a misdemeanor, he has the option of a jury trial. The village court could not be immediately reached to confirm a date for Allen’s arraignment.

When reached for comment this week, Fowler said the topic of his dispute with Allen was campaign signs; he said Allen had placed signs at a nearby gas station, which Fowler said were removed because Allen allegedly did not have permission to place them there.

“He came to my house, the door was cracked, I didn’t realize that [my girlfriend] had cracked the door for my pets,” Fowler said. “He just burst in the door and starts freaking out on me…I ordered him out three times, then told him, ‘If I have to get off this couch I’ll kick your ass.'”

Fowler said Allen then left the residence, slamming the door behind him and continuing to yell once he had left the home. He said that Allen then went to the gas station in question to speak with the establishment’s owner; Fowler said security footage from the latter part of the incident at the gas station would be subpoenaed for use in the upcoming criminal trial.

“It was completely inappropriate behavior,” said Ferris of the incident. “[Fowler] was trying to explain, ‘I do not have your signs, they’re next door [at the gas station.].’”

Contacted on Monday, Allen denied Fowler’s allegations. “Paul Fowler made this whole story up,” Allen said. “I never set foot in his apartment. I was out in the hallway.”

In a long and at times rambling interview with this publication on Monday, Allen explained his presence at Fowler’s house in two different ways. One way, the one he insisted is true in follow-up communications — one of which threatens this publication with litigation — is that he went to the home to collect absentee ballots he had provided for Fowler and Ferris. But Allen also said at one point he went to Fowler’s home the evening of Oct. 30 to try to find out what had happened to a campaign sign of his that was at the gas station. “I never set foot in his apartment — I was in the hallway for about 30-40 seconds,” Allen said. “[Ferris] said hi to me nicely, [Fowler] started to scream at me … I got the hell out of there.”

As of Monday afternoon, Allen said he had not been contacted by the police and said he could not believe someone could be arrested before they were questioned. “No one has contacted me from the police.”

Allen said he thought he might be the victim of skullduggery and alleged a conspiracy by his political foes to wreck his chances on Election Day. “I think there was a chance [that I was set up],” he said. “The whole thing is a bunch of lies.”

Back in 2015, Allen was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault after a disagreement with a Greene County schoolteacher over a parking spot at a Tannersville swimming hole. At the time of the incident, the teacher told Saugerties Times she was cleaning up the parking area with a fellow teacher and a group of students when Allen arrived in his vehicle. After she told him not park there because it would interfere with their cleanup, she said he became angry and, when she displayed her ID on a lanyard around her neck, he pulled on it hard enough to leave abrasions. Allen said Monday that the charges had been dropped; this newspaper is not able to independently confirm this.

Fowler made his statement to police under oath. At the bottom of the accusatory instrument outlining the accusations against Allen, it states that making a false written statement is a Class A misdemeanor.

(Editor’s note: This version of the story is updated and corrects the erroneous spelling of Gail Ferris’ name.)

 

There are 20 comments

  1. Bart Friedman

    To be fair, I’m thinking that it must be some kind of offense to remove campaign signs that don’t belong to you….especially when it’s not on your property.

  2. just saying.....

    If Chris Allen had a problem with someone “allegedly” stealing his signs, he should have went to the police to report it. Taking the law into his own hands is not the proper way of doing things. In this article it outlines his former brush with the law last time he ran. The article says”. “records” concerning this earlier charge are “sealed”, and information on the disposition of the charges has never been made public; Allen said the charges had been dropped.

    That can’t be true, If the records are “sealed” that means an agreement was reached between the parties. The charges were NOT dropped. If they were dropped there would be no reason for the records to be sealed. Just saying..

  3. just saying

    Bottom line: There was a sworn deposition taken according to the chief and turned over to the court. Chris Allen will be officially charged with the “crime” of criminal trespass once the courts issue a criminal summons and he’s served. It will then be up to Mr Allen to either plea guilty or not guilty to the charge. If he pleas not guilty he will be entitled to a jury of his peers. It will then be the duty of the DA to prosecute the case and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed this crime. Just saying…

    1. Just saying, too Just Saying...

      I am fairly certain, that “criminal trespass” would not be a jury trial. But, rather would be heard before the sitting local Magistrate for adjudication.

      1. just saying...

        Just a little education to “just saying too”. if someone is charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which Criminal Trespass is, they are entitled to have a jury trial if they want. Read what the chief of police said in this article

        “Sinagra said that because Allen is accused of a misdemeanor, he has the option of a jury trial”

        You need to do your homework on the law…

        voicing my opinion of giving your real name, what difference does it make if someone gives their real name to not? Isn’t this a place were people can come and voice their opinions on the issue? If the editor is aware of who is making the comments and they approve it, whats the big deal?? Why do you need to know their name?

        The way people are getting harassed while eating in restaurants, followed and called names, assaulting them etc. I don’t blame people for not giving their real name. So don’t worry about who is saying what, stick to what they are saying. Just saying….

  4. Bart Friedman

    Hey, editors! How come you will publish comments from people who won’t identify themselves with their real names? If I ran this publication I’d demand it for the good of the community.

    1. Nameless

      Then you would not be Constitutionally correct, under free press, and the First Amendment. Why, do you need proper names? So you can attack them on personal levels? Why do you need the real names, of posters, is it that, you can not argue the content, so you wish a more personal attack? There is no need, nor should there ever be, any good reason for identifying posters true identities. And, by the way, is that all your little mind can debate? You just keep posting the same old tired, and wrong argument, though intelligently answered time and time again. Are you trying too change subject matter? Constantly trying too change the subject matter of the comment sections, by continually stating the same thing, that only you, and one other poster, over and over, state, without anyone else, ever agreeing, by Einstein’s standard is insanity. There is one other troll, who keeps posting the same old dead fart, also, (D.R., you know who you are.) You sir, are a troll.

  5. Stanley Hess

    “Just Saying” his nothing but an absolute scourge of these comments sections. The only thing lower than his online character is his actual knowledge.

    Just Statin Facts

  6. Chris Allen

    The level of inaccuracy within the verbatim of my statements to this on-line newspaper are dishonest and downright disgusting. When one of the Editors of this newspaper phoned me, I described exactly what actually happened. I never entered Mr. Fowler and Ms. Ferris’ Apartment, I did not ever touch a door, as it was wide open about 5-6 feet, I never yelled at Mr. Fowler, I never accused him of taking my campaign signs (that he openly admitted to during his approximate 40 second loud and profanity laced tirade at me), and Mr. Fowler never asked me to leave his apartment three times, as again I was in the hallway at the entrance to his front door, and as soon as he threatened to “don’t make me get up off of this couch and come over there and kick your ass”, I left the building. I never slammed the door, I never set foot in their apartment, and I did not arrive at Mr. Fowler’s apartment for the purpose of tracking down stolen campaign signs. Paul Fowler and Gail Ferris (not Serris) had asked me for a ride from Price Chopper to their apartment when we crossed paths at the grocery store nearly two weeks earlier, and while driving them over to their apartment, I asked the two of them if they needed absentee ballots for the upcoming election. After entering their apartment with the two of them on that day, they filled out the necessary paperwork that designates me as the legal courier to pick up their absentee ballots at the Ulster County Board of Elections and then hand deliver it to them prior to the election. I have the chain of legal documents and witnesses at the Board of Elections which proves this. Upon entering the hallway and seeing a nearly 2/3 open doorway, I lightly knocked on their apartment door and Mr. Ferris (not Serris) politely said “hi” to me one-half second prior to Mr. Fowler screaming and yelling at me. His loud, condescending and bombastic tirade lasted for approximately another 40 seconds with several statements of response from me in between his loud outbursts. I spoke for maybe 20 seconds in total, stating “I never told anyone at the legislative office that you were supporting me, I may have told them that I saw you, gave you a ride and was picking up your absentee ballots,” “Paul, you and I go back a long way” in trying to calm him down, and “You took my campaign signs, I had permission from the owner” and “yes I did have permission from the owner, I have been putting my signs up there for over six years”, and “can I have my signs back” and finally ” I am going to win this election by 600 votes” to which Mr. Fowler threatened to “don’t make me get up off of this couch and come over there and kick your ass”. at which point I left which I was going to do anyway. For the “staff” journalists to quickly slap together this shoddy piece of “news” in such and unprofessional manner demonstrates their lack of professionalism as “journalists”. It probably took several of them about five minutes or less to type all of this prior to their posting on-line. Their yellow-based false transcription of my comments to them demonstrates their lack of honesty and professionalism. To take the time to use a word like “skullduggery” without also taking the time out to accurately quote me, check up upon the truthful facts that I gave them and to not even bother to correctly state Gail Ferris (not Srerris’s) name proves my point. The “journalists” in Ulster County actually ruined my political career in the false reporting of false accusations about me. As a Legislator, I was thorough, accurate, attentive and professional. Due to the yellow-Journalistic tendencies of numerous reporters, and the inappropriateness and dishonesty in the posting of this on-line article, I lost 400-450 votes during this election. I have retained the services of a Libel and Slander Attorney, and I will be suing Ulster Pushing and another on-line news outlet. If you are one of the 400-450 voters who changed their mind from voting for me after reading this stuff online, the writers and publishers of Ulster Publishing owe you a big apology, because Al Bruno is a huge downgrade from me as a legislator on many levels. Someone has to take a stand against the shoddy level of professionalism and journalistic integrity that exists in our current state of “journalism” . It was an honor to serve all of you in the legislature for four years, I will be pursuing some comprehensive writing projects of my own, and perhaps politics will be in my future, who knows….

  7. JR

    Chris Allen had no chance of winning before this happened. He actually caused John Schoonmaker to lose by taking some votes from him. It’s time for Chris to give up on politics, Everyone knows his story. The Democrats don’t want him and the Republicans certainly don’t want him

  8. LUNA

    While I have met Chris Allen once when he left a political postcard at my postbox and we did speak for a good 30 minutes and just recently he left another postcard for this just passed election….I don’t claim to know him. However, in reading the article, the words, ‘the door was cracked for my pets’….I have to surmise that Mr. Fowler has a salamander as a pet. One doesn’t ‘crack’ a door for dogs/cats…..you either open the door, or half-open the door. The other interesting thing that caught my mind was Mr. Fowler staying on his couch while a man is freaking out on him? Staying on his couch? For 5 minutes? Friend or foe….if someone walks into my residence uninvited…..trust me……the first thing I would do would be to get up. But then, I don’t sit on a couch watching television. It’s those little things that tell a story. It’s obvious that this story has gotten exaggerated, and egos are up front and center. I do agree with Mr. Allen that facts should be validated but in this case, there is much ‘he said…..he said’. Also…why no comment from Fowler’s girlfriend, as she was a witness to the incident. I hope cooler heads prevail and if this does go to a trial, Mr. Fowler needs to tell the truth….if he swears to. Peace Be People!!

  9. Tom Sawyer

    Paul Fowler Vs. Chris Allen….. only in Saugerties.
    Al Bruno may be a step down from Chris Allen, but John Schoonmaker was a gigantic step up from both of them. Thanks to Allen’s selfishness, the people of Saugerties will be under represented with another Legislator in the minority. Do nothing Warwo, do nothing Fabiano and now Bruno. Nice work Allen, you single-handedly screwed the entire town.

  10. Rip Van Winkle

    I agree, Allen would have been a huge step down from Schoonmaker and all but handed the seat to Bruno with his hubris and refusal to accept the will of the voters.

    On the bright side though; with his pending litigation against Ulster Publishing, we wont have Allen’s lengthy letters to the editor to skip reading every week…

  11. Chris Allen

    Again, the Editor has a problem with either telling the truth or listening correctly and then accurately reporting what he had heard. Reporting the truth does not seem to be something that journalists and/or Editors care about anymore. To clarify this Editor’s lack of being able to listen correctly or tell the truth: (1) Never at any time did I state that I went over to Fowler’s Apartment to “collect” absentee ballots or to get back stolen campaign signs. I went over to DELIVER Mr. Fowler’s and Gail Ferris’ absentee ballots to them, as the two of them designated me to pick up their absentee ballots for them at the Ulster County Board of Elections and hand deliver the ballots to them. Perhaps this Editor should put some time in to actually print the truth as it is accurately told to him and/or his reporters and to avoid so many frequent spelling errors and misquotations. Misquoting someone is not only slipshod and unprofessional, but it has its consequences in people’s lives which they do not seem to care about…! I have been misquoted by numerous reporters from Ulster Publishing over the years.. In fact, the only time that I was quoted correctly was when they gave me an emailed series of questions from which my answers appeared in their paper. And as far as the comments about John being a better choice than me for County Legislature, watch the debate from three weeks ago, and you will see that I was the most knowledgeable, articulate and experienced candidate out of the five candidates for District 1 and District 2. And, I was the only candidate who actually presented a platform of specific ideas through which I can improve upon how Ulster County Government functions and provides services to our County residents. John presented numerous ideas that are illegal, unfeasible and ridiculous. John has no understanding of what a County Legislator does, what legal powers a County Legislator has and how and when State Laws supersede local and County Laws.

    1. D. Lama

      Soooo… You are now attacking the other guy who lost? Good thing the people saw right through you, as you were dead last in votes. You sound like a ranting fool, and today’s typical politician with personal attacks against those who oppose you, and no true substance. Other than stating how smart and wonderful you are, telling all how you out debated the other candidates, what else was your rant about? If slander or libel, you are not in the correct venue. As stated before, get an attorney, and zip it up. Unfortunately for you, most of the voters, did not see it that way, that you are the best choice, at all. I leave you with an old Hindu saying… “A lion never has to remind you that he is indeed, a lion”

  12. just saying...

    Chris Allen lost the election, unless of course he can pull a rabbit out of his hat…. … In his mind, he feels he was the best candidate and that’s fine, but that’s not what voters thought. In fact, he came in last place. Yes, Mr Allen does have more experience than the other two candidates, and you can’t take that away from him, however, a majority of the voters in District 2 spoke loud and clear that they did not want him representing them…. Perhaps Mr Allen should find a job and move on… Just saying…

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