A prominent environmental lawyer who has worked throughout the Capital Region has been charged with a felony count of criminal possession of marijuana for allegedly growing 130 plants inside his home in the town of Queensbury.
The Warren County Sheriff’s Department on Friday said Jack R. Lebowitz, 62, of 39 Garrison Road, was arrested Oct. 25 after a lengthy investigation. The department’s Narcotics Enforcement Unit located a marijuana growing operation inside the Lebowitz residence and seized plants and growing equipment, according to a police statement.
Lebowitz was charged with second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a class D felony, and unlawfully growing marijuana, a Public Health Law misdemeanor. He was arraigned in Queensbury Town Court and released after posting a $5,000 bond
Lebowitz was the attorney for the Saratoga Economic Development Corp. when that group was developing the Luther Forest Technology Campus in the towns of Malta and Stillwater in 2003 and 2004. He often commented on environmental issues facing the large-scale project that eventually became the site of the $4.6 billion GlobalFoundries computer chip manufacturing facility currently under construction.
Lebowitz no longer represents the SEDC, but he was also instrumental in implementing mandatory independent environmental audits after each manufacturing plant’s first year in operation at the technology park in Malta.
Lebowitz is also a dedicated fan of the Vermont-based jam band Phish. He is on the board of directors of the Mockingbird Foundation, which is the charitable organization associated with the popular rock band. On the foundation’s website, Lebowitz is listed as secretary and general counsel for the foundation. It says that Lebowitz has attended 71 Phish shows.
The website, mbird.org, describes Lebowitz as an environmental lawyer specializing in new industrial plants. It says he and his wife, Kathleen Griffin, have two older children who are also Phish fans.
The Mockingbird Foundation recently raised $25,000 and mailed unsolicited grants to help restore music education in schools affected by storm disasters this summer in various parts of the country. Phish, which donates a portion of proceeds from digital download sales to the Mockingbird Foundation, performed a special show in mid-September to benefit Vermont victims of Tropical Storm Irene.
Lebowitz could not be reached for comment Friday.
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