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DA candidates lock horns

Incumbent, challenger have opposing views of county’s state of affairs

Albany County District Attorney David Soares, left and his Democratic primary challenger, Lee Kindlon, traded barbs about the past, present and future of the county in a Wednesday, Sept. 5, debate.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares, left and his Democratic primary challenger, Lee Kindlon, traded barbs about the past, present and future of the county in a Wednesday, Sept. 5, debate. Photo by John McIntyre.

— “We had an audit last in 2008. It turned up a number of inconsistencies in the budgeting and the bookkeeping process. Mr. Soares I know promised to do his own independent audit after that one but I have yet to see results,” Kindlon said.

Additionally, Kindlon said he wants to have a “travel moratorium” and consider “cutting back on meal budgets,” minus the occasional “Subway meal deal if they’re working late.”

Both candidates were also asked about the Occupy Albany movement. Last year, Soares did not prosecute nonviolent protesters who were arrested for staying on state parkland past closing time.

“I would handle it the same way I handled it the first time,” Soares said. “I believe that Albany County set an example for the entire country, where it is possible to have peaceful coexistence … as long as there’s no damage to property or people being injured.”

Although Kindlon said he agreed with the goals of Occupy Albany, he said he never agreed with Soares’ decision to not prosecute the protestors. He said granting block immunity to a certain group is “irresponsible as a district attorney.”

“What about protestors that block the access to a Planned Parenthood? What do we tell that young woman who’s just trying to get in to get family planning? What do we do when we don’t agree with those protestors? Are the rules supposed to be the same? Or should we be the district attorney and enforce the law as they exist? We have a system of laws, not of men,” Kindlon said.

To wrap up the evening, Soares in his closing statement argued the DA’s Office can “transform lives and transform a community,” something that he said he has been doing during his administration. He said the most challenged community is the City of Albany.

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