Hornick's fate being weighed

The county's top prosecutor is set to meet with key players in coming days as he weighs the fate of a local doctor facing felony drug charges from an arrest last month. The meetings come as Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney wrestles with whether to pursue a case against David Hornick, a well-known local physician hit with drug possession charges after Niskayuna police arrested him in a local shopping center parking lot with a car trunk full of pharmaceuticals on June 5.

Hornick, who was also charged with criminal possession of stolen property at the time, has retained his medical license, and supporters say the arrest stems from a misunderstanding. Backers of the doctor have noted that Hornick had a spotless record prior to his arrest six weeks ago.

Carney's meetings will include a session with Kent Sprotberry, the doctor's Albany-based attorney, and a separate session with investigators handling the case. During a Monday interview, the district attorney said the matter continues to be under review.

"Two weeks ago, my office received the file from the state, and we are looking to meet with his attorney before making any decisions on the matter," Carney said. "Then I will talk with the investigators, and we will go from there."

Sprotberry, the doctor's attorney, deferred comment on the case until after he meets with prosecutors.

"The ball is really in his court now and we look forward to discussing this with him," Sprotberry said. The attorney has previously noted that the doctor's medical practice involves home visits and "the trunk of his car is his medicine cabinet."

Since Hornick's arrest, his case has taken on a high profile with backers protesting at a local newspaper office in support of his innocence. In another unusual twist, Hornick has complained to police that a former patient had threatened to kill him. The threat was allegedly made by Rosann Wilson, the same person believed to have spurred the doctor's arrest by calling police and reporting that drugs were stashed in his vehicle.

A series of calls by Wilson were recorded by Hornick's home answering machine including one made on June 16 that Sprotberry claims was capped off by a threat on the doctor's life. A formal complaint was filed with Niskayuna police the following afternoon and Sprotberry has offered his client's full cooperation in any investigation.

Under state criminal procedure guidelines, prosecutors have six months from the date of a felony arrest to pursue charges against a defendant. That deadline can be waived if both sides agree to extend it. ""

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