City police arrested a 60-year-old Furman Street woman on harassment charges Tuesday after she allegedly tried to make it appear as though an ex-boyfriend was trying to kill Mayor Brian Stratton last week.
Barbara E. Finnerty was charged with two misdemeanor counts of aggravated harassment. She was arraigned on the charges and released on an appearance ticket, according to police.
Last week, a bartender at the Saw Mill Tavern off South Street contacted police after receiving an anonymous phone call from a woman claiming that a man she knew was plotting to kill the mayor. Shortly after the threat was reported, the security staff at Schenectady County Community College were handed a note naming the same man in a plot to harm Stratton with a gun.
The note was apparently spotted by a student in a garbage can at the college.
Police were dispatched immediately to City Hall after the threats were reported and said the mayor was never in any danger during the episode. But the threats, coupled with an unrelated disturbance near the mayor’s office, were enough to put police on high alert.
Investigators then received a call from a pay phone at the Eastern Parkway Price Chopper, with a woman identifying the same man as someone who was planning to shoot the mayor. Security cameras at the market captured images of the caller as she left the store.
Authorities were able to locate the man who was alleged to have threatened the mayor, but quickly determined that he had nothing to do with the threats that had been pouring in. After listening to a recording of the Price Chopper call, the man identified the caller as someone with whom he had a domestic dispute earlier in the week.
"They were boyfriend-girlfriend," police spokesman Michael Crounse said of the relationship between the two.
Crounse said the two harassment charges stem from the phone calls Finnerty allegedly made. She is scheduled to reappear in City Court on Feb. 14.