The search for (and failed case against) Quintin Cross and Jamont McClendon engaged the local political class to a remarkable degree. Due to the City’s tangled web of rivalries and allegiances, Cross’s career in electoral politics, as well as the inherently political nature of a City Hall burglary, records show that both the defense and the prosecution received help from various political players.
For example, on the day the burglary was discovered, the email pictured above was sent by former Hudson Democratic chair and four-time Mayoral candidate Linda Mussmann to lawyer Susan Tipograph. The New York City-based attorney, a longtime associate of Time & Space Limited, was already representing Cross regarding legal attempts to compel him to pay restitution for his illegal charges on a City credit card. The email alerts Tipograph that, in Mussmann’s words, “Quintin has screwed up big time.” The next day, Mussmann forwarded a Register-Star article to Tipograph regarding the warrants out for Cross and McClendon’s arrest. A printout of this email exchange was provided by Cross in the box of documents made available for this site’ inspection.
Another local player assisting Cross’s team was former School Board candidate and education blogger Lynn Sloneker, who now serves as news director of radio station WGXC. The documents provided by Cross show that Sloneker responded to his request for media research, providing excerpts of articles covering the current and previous case.
The trove of documents also reveals a hand-drafted (but unsigned) agreement between Cross and Taghkanic residents Dan and Mary Udell, in which they agree to post his bond in exchange for weekly meetings with Cross and regular updates from him about the case. The Udells were honored several years ago by the Columbia County Democrats for their videotaping of Hudson City Council and other local meetings.
On the other side of the case, Cross’s records also show that former Mayor Dick Tracy contacted the Hudson Police Department during his six-week disappearance. Tracy passed along a report that a resident of the Crosswinds housing complex was receiving packages on the former alderman’s behalf. When the HPD investigated, the person in question denied both doing so and knowing anything about Cross’s whereabouts. Tracy also passed along a tip that someone familiar with Cross believed he “was somewhere in Texas.”
A Register-Star employee contacted the HPD on March 21st to say that she thought she saw Cross and McClendon at the Cheesecake Factory in Colonie Center. Investigation by the Colonie police did not turn up any evidence they had been there.
Meanwhile, Cross has responded to widespread talk that recently-resigned HPD chief Ellis Richardson somehow influenced the handling of the case. (During his interview with Detective Funk, the policeman leaves for about 20 minutes after saying, “Let’s see what my boss wants.”) Cross wrote in an email last week that:
In a transcript posted yesterday of his own interview, McClendon asks to speak with the Chief, but Detective Funk says that he is there on the Chief’s behalf and that he should talk to him as such.
I am close with the Chief and I know for a fact he wasn't around that day actually he was in Albany and I know that I was indicted by the time he got back.