For at the fifth time, F. James Germano’s trial has been postponed.
The former North Greenbush political boss stands charged with the misdemeanor solicitation for prostitution and the felony of lewd, lascivious or indecent behavior in Indian River County Court. His new trial date is Dec. 15.
According to court records, Germano stipulated to a surveillance video and hearsay testimony – which means they will be entered into evidence should the case make it to a jury.
Germano was arrested on Nov. 2, 2012 by Vero Beach Police. The 85-year-old was initially charged with procuring a person under the age of 18 for prostitution, a felony, and two misdemeanor counts of stalking. Those charges were thrown out and he was arrested for the two crimes he stands charged with now.
According to Vero Beach police, Germano allegedly offered a 12-year-old boy money in exchange for sex while the boy was waiting for a bus near his home. The boy called his mother on a cell phone and when she came to the bus stop, Germano allegedly made her a similar offer.
He was last set to go to trial on Aug. 25 with a conference slated for Nov. 6. Germano was not in court for the conference but Judge Robert L. Pegg set the new trial date.
He remains free on $65,000 bail.
Before stepping down after three decades as the town's Democratic Party chair, Germano controlled all things political in North Greenbush, and his influence was felt throughout Rensselaer County and across the river in Albany too.
He was tried along then County Executive Henry Zwack on charges the two – plus three of Zwack’s top aides – conspired to circumvent Civil Service Law. The five allegedly tried to give Germano’s grandson another crack at the physical agility portion of his Civil Service exam so he could remain a North Greenbush cop and in return Zwack would get the Conservative Party endorsement for his re-election bid. All five were found not guilty.
Here is a link to some older stories.