Attorney Wants Oneida County District Attorney Disqualified


UTICA–An attorney has filed motions in Utica City Court to have the Oneida County District Attorney disqualified from a case involving a man accused of paying a 17-year-old for sex.

Wednesday morning, Judge John Gannon said he would consider motions filed by attorney Nicholas Passalacqua; representing John Steman, former chief of staff to Congressman Anthony Brindisi.

Stemen is charged with patronizing a prostitute; a misdemeanor.

Passalacqua contends that in a phone conversation, Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara said he wouldn’t offer a plea because it would put his office in a politically sensitive light.

The district attorney is not required to offer a plea deal.

Passalacqua also says that the day prior to Stemen’s arrest, McNamara told Stemen’s then-boss, Brindisi, that Stemen would be arrested.

After the above-mentioned phone call, McNamara sent a letter to Passalacqua; apologizing for profane language used in the phone call.

“…it is a customary practice to notify elected officials and chief law enforcement officers of the imminent arrest of one of their staff,” McNamara said in the letter.

Jude Gannon’s indication that he would consider Passalacqua’s motions included no mention of when he would make a decision.

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