The answer of course, is yes.
Last month, current Troy City Councilman Kevin McGrath took the witness stand at the local voter fraud trial, and having recently accepted a plea deal in the trial, delivered testimony laced with sheepish statements, deep regret, and a pained look of remorse on his face.
Just kidding – McGrath actually cracked jokes about his felonious drug dealing past.
During his stint on the stand, McGrath admitted being concerned about running for public office because of his history of substance abuse, and ‘the fact that he is a convicted felon’. His concern quickly dissipated however, as he cracked a joke about his lack of drug-peddling business savvy, stating that he “wasn’t too good” because he “didn’t make a profit” – comments that forced him to apologize to the judge.
Methinks the councilman is being a bit modest in his assessment of his drug dealing capabilities. A fantastic report by
Brendan Lyons of the Times Union shows that McGrath was part of a highly successful network that ran “open-air” drug transactions from a home on Fourth Street in Troy.
A DEA-led investigation had indicated that the 17 individuals arrested (including McGrath), were operating their business at a profit of a ‘few million dollars’. McGrath pled guilty but received a cooperation agreement which resulted in home confinement and ultimately three years of probation.
Additionally, it should be noted that McGrath wasn’t simply making a joke about something that happened 14 years ago. On January 31st, Thomas Dickinson testified during the same trial, that “he used to drink and drive and do drugs with McGrath” less than two years ago.
Clearly, McGrath’s comments on the stand show a pattern of not accepting responsibility for past behaviors, making jokes in an effort to minimalize his role in the drug arrest. But a felony conviction in a multi-million dollar drug trafficking operation is no laughing matter.
The voter fraud testimony reveals another pattern with McGrath, however – one of receiving favorable deals in major legal matters. First came the drug agreement, followed by what one fellow Democrat called “the deal of a lifetime” in the voter fraud trial.
Despite the possibility of being a major piece in the ballot fraud scheme, McGrath was given yet another cooperation deal. The Times Union report questions such a deal for a man who already had a prior conviction. They also wisely point out that McGrath is a well-connected Democrat, being the brother of state Supreme Court justice, Patrick McGrath.
One of the defense attorneys for the ballot fraud case, Brian Premo, has fervently questioned McGrath’s deal and whether it was a result of close ties to the Democrat political machine. The Union report states:
A year ago, Premo had attacked the prosecutor’s decision to grant immunity to McGrath and several other Democrats implicated in the scheme. In pretrial filings, Premo suggested that McGrath was heavily involved but had been given immunity, in part, because his brother is a judge and the family has strong ties to the county’s Democratic machine.
“In short, the relevant facts and irrefutable evidence establish that the (special prosecutor) has apparently for conflicting personal interests and political reasons brought this prosecution against McDonough and LoPorto instead of the Democrat Troy Council incumbents and/or party workers implicated by substantial credible evidence in the alleged crimes,” Premo wrote in a pretrial memorandum.
Former Democrat Party Chairman, Frank LaPosta, referred to the arrangement as “the deal of a lifetime”.
Troy City Councilman Kevin McGrath, D-District 1, got the deal of a lifetime revealed in a recently disclosed cooperation agreement with the special prosecutor in the Troy voter fraud investigation. This agreement allows McGrath to avoid criminal prosecution for any wrongdoing on his part in the voter fraud scandal…
That wrongdoing may have included a bit of forgery of his own…
At the trial last month, Premo pressed McGrath about his criminal background. He also confronted McGrath with a stack of absentee ballots that were not part of Smith’s case but showed what Premo suggested were other forged ballots handled personally by McGrath.
If the agreement only pertains to the WFP, and Premo is able to prove that McGrath’s forgery attempts crossed into the Independent and Conservative lines, then he may yet face charges.
That said, McGrath’s history is too checkered to ignore. It needs to be addressed today. From drug deals, to plea deals, his record is a blight on Troy politics specifically, and New York politics in general.
We are calling on Kevin McGrath to finally do what is right for the city of Troy, and tender his resignation immediately.