Marchione Defends Land Purchase Amid Reports Of FBI Investigation

Mar 26, 2014

Republican New York State Senator Kathy Marchione of Halfmoon invited local media today to tour a parcel of land she owns that is reportedly part of an FBI investigation.

As reported in an article published by the Albany Times Union Wednesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in association with the New York Attorney General’s office, is investigating a 2007 land purchase by Senator Marchione and her husband.

The probe is reportedly part of a larger investigation into elected officials in Halfmoon. Late last year, Republican town supervisor Mindy Wormuth resigned over corruption allegations related to stealing money from a campaign fund.

Senator Marchione meets with reporters at a site overlooking the property she purchased with her husband in 2007.
Credit Lucas Willard / WAMC

Marchione invited local media to tour the 3.3-acre parcel, mostly wetlands, located on land between her house and a neighboring subdevelopment.

“There is 2.71 acres out of the 3.3 acres that is considered – you can check on the property tax rolls – as being waste land,” said Marchione.  

Marchione, elected to the Senate in 2012, said she purchased the land in 2007 from Landmark Development Group to serve as a buffer area between her home and the subdevelopment, owned by Landmark. At the time, Marchione had been serving as Saratoga County Clerk. Marchione said the $30,000 paid for the property was a fair price.

“Aboslutely very fair,” said Marchione. “In fact now as we are looking a little more closely I’m hearing some people tell me they think I overpaid.”

The FBI is also reportedly interested in Halfmoon developer Bruce Tanski, a man known for his large donations to Republican political campaigns, including Marchione’s.

A view of the Marchiones' property.
Credit Lucas Willard / WAMC

Marchione said she has not been contacted by the FBI over anything related to a land purchase.

Marchione served as Halfmoon supervisor in the 1990s, prior to her election to the County Clerk’s office. 

Marchione said she believes the investigators are on a witch hunt, targeting elected officials from Halfmoon, a suburban community about 25 minutes north of Albany. Marchione referenced Governor Andrew Cuomo’s remarks on public radio in January about “extreme conservatives” who are anti-abortion and anti-gun control as having “no place in New York.”

“I’ve got a proven record of service to the community and caring for 35 years, and when you look and you target someone’s property that you purchased in 2007, when you’re not an elected official in the Town of Halfmoon – 10 years after – I feel like perhaps the FBI and Attorney General’s office is on a witch hunt,” said Marchione. “And you know I am one of those ‘extreme conservatives,’ and I have some concerns about that.”

Marchione said she has not had any contact with former supervisor Wormuth since last August, when Wormuth was accused of taking campaign funds reported as “consulting fees” to write a letter to Marchione, as well as Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, lobbying in support of legislation to allow mixed martial arts in New York.