Ex-legislator appears on criminal trespass charge; asks for public defender

Chris Allen

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.

There are 7 comments

  1. Aaron Montero

    So whats the back story?….why was he there?
    Also why would he invoke that part of the penal code…confused!

    1. Concerned for the Community

      Allen entered Fowler’s home on the incident at hand. The jail incident on Fowler’s part is irrelevant and unrelated to Allen, all together. The facts of the Greene County incident, on Allen’s end, shows, Mr. Allen has done similar things to others while campaigning. Allen obviously cannot handle the pressure of running for office and will do anything to gain a vote! No means no! If one does not want to vote for a person, they should not be berated into it by pressing the issue. Allen should have left the first time he was told to leave. The fact he had to be told several times says enough. Why did he continue on with whatever brought him there to begin with? How many other perspective voters did Allen do this to, that they did not do something about it? Food for thought!

  2. Just saying

    It might be wise for Chris Allen to keep his mouth shut from this point forward and let his attorney do the talking. I don’t think him giving the judge a lecture on the law was a smart thing to do. Just saying

  3. Just saying

    I agree with JR. The case was not dismissed.. If the case was dismissed, there would be no reason for the courts to seal the case. Rumor has it, a deal was struck between the two parties, perhaps a letter of apology.. Just saying..

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