Acting Utica City Court Judge John Gannon has denied a motion from a local lawyer to disqualify the Oneida County District Attorney’s office from prosecuting a case in court. Judge Gannon ruled that city court did not have the jurisdiction to act on such a motion of disqualification and appoint a special prosecutor. The motion was denied without prejudice.
The motion was brought by lawyer Nicholas Passalacqua, in connection with the case of John Stemen. Passalacqua contended, in the motion, that Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara and his staff should not be allowed to prosecute the case because of an alleged appearance of impropriety. Passalacqua further sought relief from the court for alleged improper and inappropriate behavior on the part of McNamara.
Stemen, the defendant in the case, is facing a misdemeanor charge of patronizing a prostitute. He allegedly paid an under age girl $200 for sex. Stemen was a member of the staff of Rep. Anthony Brindisi at the time of the incident.
Judge Gannon noted that the case will continue in Utica City Court on October 16th.