Motions Denied, Alleged Stolen Tracking Device in Reed Campaign Sign Case Moves Forward
Corning, N.Y. (WENY)-- After a plea offer was denied by the defense this morning, the case of the alleged stolen GPS tracking device inside a Congressman Tom Reed campaign sign is moving forward.
The Steuben County District Attorney's Office offered Gary McCaslin an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal, or ACD. The ACD would allow all charges to be dismissed in six months if McCaslin didn't break the law in that period of time, and wrote a letter to the Reed Campaign apologizing for causing inconvenience. McCaslin's attorney, Christina Sonsire, says they denied the motion because it could still be seen as an admission of guilt.
"Myself and Attorney (Ray) Schlather, who are co-representing him, feel so strongly that once all the facts are heard by a jury, that he'll be fully vindicated. It's for that reason that we simply couldn't allow him to accept an ACD," Sonsire explains.
McCaslin is accused of railing to return a GPS tracking device found inside a campaign sign for Tom Reed. Reed's Campaign Manager Nick Weinstein, says when he went to retrieve the sign back from McCaslin, the defendant refused to give the tracker back. Attorney Sonsire says it's because McCaslin didn't know who the GPS tracking device belonged to, and didn't know what to do.
"By then he had seen the tracking device and didn't know what to do with it. He didn't know it was legal to have. In that moment, he wasn't sure how to act. But within a short time after, he realized he didn't want this to go any further, he went to the campaign office and congressional office and tried to give it back," Sonsire explains.
But Weinstein says the GPS tracking device, which he says he placed in the sign himself, was labeled demonstrating evidence of ownership belonging to the Reed Campaign, along with a phone number to call if it needed to be returned. Weinstein says the Congressman would have liked to see the case end today with the ACD.
"The Congressman would have been happy with an outcome that was presented to the defendant today, an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, with an admission of guilt or at the very least a recognition of inconvenience that this has caused the campaign. That would have been something that we had been happy with," Weinstein explains. "If you take something that doesn't belong to you, that's theft, and it's in the hands of the court system now," he adds.
The case will be back in Town of Corning Court on September 17th at 10:00am for discovery.