A teacher who exercised her First Amendment Rights to stand up for her beliefs at rallies and actions held by Occupy Albany could be facing repercussions for her actions. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports
A familiar figure at any Occupy Albany event, Joanne Farrell was arrested twice on May First when protestors returned to state-owned Lafayette park across from the Capitol Building - one arrest for bringing a folding table into the park and the other for violating an 11pm curfew. Albany County D-A David Soares maintained his position, refusing to prosecute any "Occupiers"engaged in non-violent protests - but records of arrest are another matter -
Kathy Manley is one of the attorneys with Occupy Albany - she says teacher Joanne Farrell should never have been arrested in the first place
The Albany Times Union reported the State Education Department notified Farrell by mail that the agency had been alerted to her arrest via a Division of Criminal Justice Services tracking system - her fingerprints were on file because she'd been cleared to work as a teacher for Rensselaer and Capital Region BOCES. Farrell hopes to resume substitute teaching this fall, but isn't sure how the arrest record will impact her ability to be hired.
Albany Common Council member Dom Calsolaro, an outspoken supporter of Occupy Albany, is disturbed to see Farrell's arrest affecting her record and reputation.
Kathy Manley says legal action on Farrell's behalf is definitely an option
Manley says whoever gave troopers their orders must be concerned about what the Occupy Movement represents.
Calls to the State Department of Education and the New York State Police were not returned in time for broadcast.