Lawyer says he'll fight to clear justice candidate's felony convictions

THURMAN Local real estate investor Glenda Duell is seeking to have her felony convictions cleared so she can continue to pursue her candidacy for the Town Justice post, her lawyer said this last week. Attorney Tucker Stanclift of Glens Falls said he was going to delve through truckloads of boxes of court documents from a 1997 trial in which Duell was convicted of 134 felonies, in order to build a potential case. The convictions relate to her failure to fix an inadequate septic system of an apartment building she and her husband Kent owned. The buildings septic system dumped raw sewage into a nearby stream. Both Glenda and Kent Duell were sentenced to jail for six months in the case, and were fined a total of $68,000. Stanclift said he intended to determine whether there was a legal basis to have the convictions against Glenda Duell vacated by a judge, so she could regain her full civil liberties. We have taken her case on as part of an innocence project, he said. Ill do everything legally permissible to accommodate her objectives. State law prohibits a person convicted of a felony from serving as a town justice. Duell won the Republican Primary election for the justice post in September by a comfortable margin. She is still going to be on the ballot, despite a state law that is so strict it prohibits convicted felons from merely running for the justice post. Warren County Board of Elections Commissioner Mary Beth Casey said she would only remove Duell from the ballot either if she was provided written proof by the Thurman Republican Committee that Duell was ineligible and that the committee specifically asked for her to be removed. Thurman Republican Committee Chairman John Haskell reiterated this week that he and his one other committee member, David Robinson, werent likely to take action. If Duell wins the November election yet is deemed ineligible, the state Office of Court Administration would likely appoint someone to the post, state officials have said. Primary contenders Doug Collignon and Carolyn Grotevant were defeated by Duell. Two weeks ago, primary runner-up Collignon filed a protest of Duells placement on the Republican Party line for the general election but the Board of Elections has said his objection was filed too late. Independent candidate Filomina Riviello will be also on the November ballot. Grotevant has said that she is seriously considering running a write-in campaign. The general election will take place Nov. 4.

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