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Cohoes councilmember charged with forcible touching

2nd Ward Cohoes Councilman Don Russell
City of Cohoes
2nd Ward Cohoes Councilman Don Russell

A Cohoes city councilor has been arrested for an alleged forcible touching incident.

2nd Ward Councilman Don Russell has been charged with forcible touching stemming from an incident that allegedly occurred on August 28th.

Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler says police briefed him last week but he hasn't spoken with Russell.

"It's my understanding that he denies the allegation," said Keeler. "Obviously I wasn't there so it's unfair for me to offer an opinion. It sounds like it's a one on one complaint. Where it’s the complainant's word against the defendant's word."

The Albany County D.A.'s office says Russell pleaded not guilty at his arraignment December 22nd and was released on his own recognizance. A no-contact order of protection was also issued. Russell has not responded to a request for comment from WAMC.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.