A member of the state Parole Board waived his right to a preliminary hearing and bail hearing this afternoon and was sent back to the Albany County Jail.
Chris Ortloff, 61, of Plattsburgh, who served 20 years in the state Assembly, was arrested Monday at a Colonie hotel in a state police sting after he allegedly tried to set up sex with two young girls.
“I didn’t think it was in the best interest of my client to go forward at this time,’ said Andrew Safranko, an attorney who appeared with Ortloff for a bail application hearing in U.S. District Court.
Sanfranko said he had received new information at the “11th hour” from prosecutors and needed time to review it, though he would not disclose the nature of the information. He said there are no new charges filed against Ortloff at this time.
Ortloff, who appeared in court in a yellow jail uniform, was unshaven and told the judge he understood he was waiving his right to a hearing. No date has been set for his next court appearance.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Spina asked Tuesday to postpone the bail hearing until today so investigators could review any evidence found during searches of Ortloff’s home, his office in Lake Placid, his car and the motel where he was arrested. Spina did not say in court if any new information had been discovered.
According to federal court papers, Ortloff has been communicating since June with an undercover state police investigator almost daily by telephone and e-mail. During the conversations, he said he wanted to meet in the Albany area and have sex with what he believed to be 11- and 12-year-old girls. On Sept. 10, 2008, he communicated through the Internet with the investigator and arranged to meet the girls Monday.
If convicted, Ortloff, who is married and has two grown children, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life. He could also be fined $250,000.
Then-Gov. George Pataki appointed Ortloff to the parole board in 2006. In that position, he interviewed inmates before voting whether to authorize their release. He was paid $102,000 a year.
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