Cohoes mayor has no plans to resign amid domestic abuse allegations
COHOES, N.Y. (WRGB) Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse responded Monday to accusations of physical abuse against him and growing calls for him to resign from local and state leaders, including the governor.
“I’ve never touched a woman. I’ve never touched my wife. I never touched my daughters and I never touched my son and I will take that to the grave with me because it’s never happened,” said Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse.
Morse pushed back on accusations laid out in the Times Union that he used physical violence against his wife and daughter in more than one occasion.
The allegations have prompted calls from fellow Democrats, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for Morse to resign.
“I am not resigning from my position. I was elected by the citizens of the City of Cohoes. They will tell me whether or not I should continue to be employed as mayor of this city,” said Morse.
In a statement on Sunday, Cuomo said that New York State Police "have reopened their investigation based on new reported evidence."
Colonie Police Lt. Robert Winn confirmed on Monday that police are "investigating a complaint involving Shawn Morse, and his wife, that was filed with our department on Friday. I am not, nor have I, given any other details. There have been no arrests and both parties are cooperating with the investigation.”
Morse said Monday that he has never done anything wrong. He blamed the recent accusations on substance abuse issues that he said his wife has. CBS6 News was not able to speak with her Monday.
Former Cohoes Mayor and current Assemblymember John McDonald said Monday that he doesn’t see how Morse can continue to do his job while also facing serious accusations.
“It is very unfortunate that a family’s life is now part of the public domain. It’s very unfortunate that the victims, his wife and his daughter, are now actually being pushed back in this process and he’s making himself out to be the victim. And it’s unfortunate because it’s not in the best interest of the City of Cohoes, it’s not in the best interest of Mr. Morse and it’s not in the best interest of his family,” said Assemblymember McDonald.
“I really do think that Mr. Morse needs to give strong consideration to what his future is going to be. I don’t know how he can carry on the day to day responsibilities at the upper level that it needs to be,” he said.
Morse addressed that concern with this: “I think I’ll be fine, I think the city will be better than ever because I’m a committed man to making it run I’m also a committed man to taking care of my family.”
A special Cohoes Common Council meeting was called for Monday night at 7.