The former Schenectady school district employee convicted in 2010 on arson and intimidation charges appealed the ruling in court Wednesday Our Solomon Syed has more.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Almost three years after his conviction on 18 charges, former Schenectady City School's facilities director Steven Raucci's attorney argued his client deserves a new trial, comparing his 2010 case to more recent events.
"Since we're just post the Super Bowl, to a big pile-on of illegal hits," said Alan Pierce, Raucci’s attorney.
They believe the biggest one came just from trying Raucci in Schenectady County, since of his convictions stemmed from incidents in other jurisdictions, setting off explosives and vandalizing property at homes in Albany and Rensselaer counties.
Pierce said, "Adding 14 counts from outside Schenectady County is atrocious."
But the four judge panel focused on other issues.
"You said this briefcase warrant didn't say where it was located, so that's a separate search warrant," Presiding Justice Honorable Karen K. Peters said.
Judges called into question a warrant used to uncover Raucci's black briefcase, as well as incriminating statements he made to police during their investigation.
"Talked about the impact that they had on him and how he was able to remain the Godfather of the district," Schenectady County District Attorney Counsel Gerald Dwyer said.
"There argument was ‘see, haha, he knew all about it ‘cause he did it!"’ Pierce said.
Along with violating Raucci's Sixth Amendment rights and prejudicial FBI videos, Raucci's attorney believes these produced a tainted verdict. Prosecutors maintain any error is harmless and the evidence against Raucci is overwhelming.
Dwyer said, "He received 25 years to life, your honors. He was exposed to 118. He has shown no remorse. I ask that this conviction be upheld.”
There's also a separate appeal in this case, with the Office of Victim's Services trying to prevent Raucci's wife from collecting his $5,800 monthly pension. A decision on Raucci's pension is expected in the next few weeks.
As far as the criminal appeal, that won't happen for several months.