EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was clarified on March 20. A previous version was unclear about the District Attorney’s decision not to seek a special prosecutor for the theft case against Cassie Walker.
NISKAYUNA — A theft charge against Cassie Walker for allegedly stealing money from Schenectady Police Officer Mark McCracken — her estranged husband — has been dismissed.
Niskayuna Town Justice Peter Scagnelli dismissed the misdemeanor petit larceny charge on Wednesday, at the request of the Schenectady County District Attorney’s office.
Assistant District Attorney John Carson said the judge approved a request to have the original charge against Walker — felony grand larceny — reduced to a misdemeanor prior to dismissing it. The request was made because the district attorney’s office didn’t think Walker stole the money in the first place, Carson said.
According to Carson, a loan taken out in 2016 — before the divorce proceedings between Walker and McCracken began — was being paid through McCracken’s KeyBank account, through automatic payments. When divorce proceedings began, according to Carson, McCracken agreed to continue paying off the loan.
McCracken told The Daily Gazette on Monday that the loan was taken out to pay off marital debt for which he claimed Walker was responsible. He said in 2017, he eventually emailed Walker informing her he was no longer paying the loan. He even put a stop-payment order on his bank account, but money still went toward paying it off.
“She changed the amount of money being paid [to the loan company], which allowed her to pay off the bill again,” McCraken said.
Carson confirmed that, while records show McCracken issued a stop-payment on the loan, money was still taken out in June. But that was because the only thing necessary to get around a stop-payment order is a change to the amount being paid.
So, according to Carson, the amount was changed. Not because anyone physically changed the amount being paid, but because the next payment included not only the monthly charge for June, but also the monthly charge for May, with a late fee attached.
The amount came to $1,202.16 — the money Walker was accused of stealing.
“[Walker] received no personal benefit,” Carson said. “She didn’t take any money out personally.”
Walker’s attorney, Derrick Hogan of Tully Rinckey, thanked the district attorney’s office for dealing with the case “in an objective manner. He also said Walker was happy to see the charge against her dismissed.
“I think she’s certainly relieved she doesn’t have to have this hanging over her head, because she did nothing wrong,” Hogan said.
McCracken, though, said he was “extremely disappointed” with the outcome. He also said that, while the district attorney’s office did reach out to him, he refused to meet with them because that office is also prosecuting him for a different matter in relation to Walker.
“How can they prosecute me in one case and defend me in another?” McCracken asked.
Carson confirmed the district attorney’s office sought a meeting with McCracken over the grand larceny charge’s disposition, something he said they do with any “alleged victim.” He said the district attorney’s office didn’t see any “ethical or legal obligation” to ask for a special prosecutor for the theft case against Walker.
McCracken is charged with second-degree criminal contempt that accuses him of violating an order of custody and visitation by coming in “close physical proximity” to Walker at their son’s hockey game at a Union College on Jan. 7.
He is due back in Schenectady City Court on March 27 for a jury trial conference in that case.
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Categories: News, Schenectady County