COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local mayor is answering some tough questions after a scathing news article went to print.
The Times Union revealing a police report that describes a domestic incident at the home of Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse.
Shawn Morse has been a longtime member of the Cohoes community, as a firefighter representative of the Albany County Legislature and now as mayor since 2015.
The article is getting mixed reactions at this time, but council members say they haven’t read the police report yet but that they’re concerned by the allegations.
According to the police report, officers responded to Mayor Morse’s home early Friday morning after his wife Brenda told a dispatcher that her husband choked her and threw her to the ground.
Cohoes Assistant Police Chief Thomas Ross confirmed to the Times Union that officers responded to Morse’s house but that the dispatcher’s report was quote “discounted,” saying no choking occurred. The officers on the scene said they saw no injuries on Brenda, so there was no cause for arrest.
Morse denied the violence as well, in both a formal statement released to the media and on social media.
In a post on Facebook Mayor Morse said, “My wife and I are so sad and broken as we try to deal with the difficulties of raising our 15 year old.”
He goes on to describe what happened, saying he and his wife were arguing all night about how to handle their daughter, “My wife asked me to leave that she needed time to think, I refused, I wanted to keep talking.”
He left his home to take a breather and came back to find police there.
He says that’s all that happened and also stated, “All of you who know me know I love this community and work tirelessly to help all people. I love my wife and my children and would never hurt them in any way.”
He closes the post with a bold statement saying “If you believe I’m unfit to be your mayor over this, I will resign!”
Morse’s wife Brenda also shared her feelings on Facebook saying, “Shawn I know you love us, and you work 24/7 to provide for us.”
A statement has been released by Mayor Morse:
“The claims made in the Albany Times Union are patently false. 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. And with any family, there are good times and there are challenging 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.”
City council member and a friend of Morse and his wife, Don Russell, doesn’t take the idea of abuse lightly but also doesn’t believe all of the allegations are true.
“Do I believe that you know it’s to the extent that everything is being made out to be, no I don’t think so at all,” Russell said.
Randy Koniowka, a critic of the mayor’s agrees they need to learn what exactly happened. But, he doesn’t believe it should be investigated by the Cohoes police department.
“What’s best for the Mayor, what’s best for the city, what’s best for the police department is that an outside agency come in and do an investigation,” said Koniowka, also a city council member.
But, he says he gives the mayor the benefit of the doubt.
NEWS10 reached out to Cohoes police and fire departments, they both said they were not commenting on the case today.