Former county legislator Chris Allen, who is facing a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespass, appeared in village court Monday evening and asked for a public defender in the case.
According to the made-under-oath complaint accusing Allen of criminal trespass, lodged by Saugerties resident Paul Fowler, at about 7:58 p.m. on Oct. 30, Allen entered Fowler’s 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 Allen complied. Allen in interviews with local media has denied these allegations, saying he never entered Fowler’s home.
Allen came in third back on Nov. 5 in his bid to return to the legislature, tallying, including November 18 absentee ballots tallied, 524 votes. Republican Al Bruno came in first with 1,063; Democrat John Schoonmaker was close behind with 986.
In court Monday night, Allen addressed Village Justice Robert Rightmyer at the bench. When Rightmyer asked if he wished to procure a public defender, Allen attempted to invoke section 170.30 of New York State Penal Law, which states that “a person is guilty of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree when, with knowledge that it is forged and with intent to defraud, deceive or injure another, he utters or possesses any forged instrument,” and stated that he was “an invited guest in [Paul Fowler’s apartment].”
Rightmyer was unmoved. “Back to my original question — are you going to get an attorney?” said Rightmyer. Allen answered in the affirmative, and filled out paperwork seeking a public defender in the back of the courtroom to hand in to the judge.
“I have to stand by what I said,” said Fowler Tuesday, November 19. “Chris Allen’s actions are unbecoming and unbefitting of a legislator. I’ll pin a $20 bill right to his lapel and wish him luck.”
Allen was scheduled to reappear in village court at 7 p.m. this coming Monday, Nov. 25.