In case you are wondering, F. James Germano, the former North Greenbush political boss, is still in hot water in Florida.
According to records from the Indian River County Court Clerk, Germano’s trial date was postponed again from May 5 to June 2. The now 85-year-old was initially slated for trial on April 7.
In one of the most bizarre stories I have ever covered, Germano was arrested in November, 2012 for allegedly offering a 12-year-old boy $50 for sex. The boy, who was waiting at a bus stop near his Vero Beach home, called him mother. When she showed up, Germano allegedly solicited her for sex too.
The charges of felony procuring a minor for prostitution and two misdemeanor stalking charges were dropped, but he was later re-arrested for felony charge of lewd and lascivious behavior and the initial misdemeanor count of solicitation for prostitution still stands. He is free on $65,000 bail pending his trial. The fact it’s been going on for so long, with the trial postponed twice, tells me the two sides can’t agree on a plea deal which probably doesn’t bode well for Germano. I'm guessing Florida authorities have yet to acquire a taste for Germano's charm.
The story caps off what can only be defined as a colorful career. Germano ruled all things political in North Greenbush with an iron fist for decades until he was indicted along with former Rensselaer County Executive Henry Zwack for attempting to circumvent Civil Service law in exchange for political favors. All five defendants were acquitted in 2002.
What makes the solicitation story so bizarre is Germano could be cast as a Sporanos extra. Or, better put, the Sopranos extras could have taken lessons from the tough talking Italian politico - he wasn’t just playing a part. He is one of the legendary politicos in and around Rensselaer County, not only for his tireless work ethic but just because he is Jimmy Germano.
For example, when Rensselaer County Democratic Chairman Ed McDonough Sr. stepped down because of his own criminal problems, the
re was a skirmish over who would replace him.
|GERMANO ON TRIAL IN 2002/ TIMES UNION PHOTO|
Germano thought he was the heir apparent but Doreen Connolly had a different idea and thought the title should be hers. Germano, never on to follow rules all that closely, brushed her aside, determined he was chair and declared himself so.
The committee didn’t like that much and there was a bunch of behind-the-scenes maneuvering going on. One member, who was trying to keep a semblance of decorum, attempted to explain to Germano how the party should avoid becoming a Banana Republic. Germano took offense and asked with a unique mix of innocence and fury: “Did you just call me an ape?”
During the meeting where the committee eventually voted Connolly chair, one of her supporters said from the floor he would not allow the party to be taken over by a “thug.” Germano stood and calmly said: “If you call me a thug again, I’m gonna break your fu$#&ing knees.”