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Warrant issued for Schenectady Councilman

Warrant issued for Schenectady Councilman

Warrant was signed by city court Judge Guido Loyola.
Warrant issued for Schenectady Councilman
Councilman John Mootooveren speaks on Van Vranken Avenue in Schenectady, July 5, 2017.
Photographer: Eric Jenks/For the Daily Gazette

SCHENECTADY -- An arrest warrant has been issued for city Councilman John Mootooveren, according to a City Court clerk.

The Schenectady Police Department confirmed on Tuesday they were investigating Mootooveren following a “possible altercation” between him and another man at a bar.

Mootooveren declined to comment on Wednesday and referred questions to his attorney, Steven Kouray.

The incident occurred during the early morning hours of Jan. 14 at Exit Bar and Lounge on Crane Street, according to Nandalall "Harry" Hariraj, the alleged victim in the incident.

Hariraj said he was close to leaving the bar when he took out his cell phone and started filming what was going on inside, catching Mootooveren on camera. Immediately after he stopped taking the video, he said that's when Mootooveren through a red solo cup with liquor at his face.

Immediately Hariraj said his eyes started to burn as he scrambled to try and wipe off his face.

"I had no time to blink," Hariraj said. "I was blinded momentarily."

His wife, Anita, was able to grab something for him to dry off his face. She then went and confronted Mootooveren, according to Hariraj. He said Mootooveren responded by cursing out his wife.

Hariraj said he went to the police the next day to file a report. But his eyes still hurt, Hariraj said, adding that they were bloodshot and swollen. He said he treated the pain with Tylenol and put in eye drops.

On the Monday after the incident, Hariraj said he went to his eye doctor, who gave him antibiotics to avoid an infection. That pain persisted for the next two week, Hariraj said.

"It felt like sand in my eyes," Hariraj said.

Kouray, told The Daily Gazette on Tuesday the accusation was sent to City Court to determine whether Mootooveren should be charged with second-degree harassment, a violation. He said two city court judges had recused themselves from the case.

City Judge Guido Loyola signed the warrant, according to the court clerk.

Kouray was out of town on Wednesday and was unable to comment, but he previously said the incident involved a man who was upset that he couldn’t get a zoning variance regarding his auto body shop in the city.

Hariraj denied this claim, and said he didn't say anything to Mootooveren before a drink was thrown in his face.

"I want it resolved, but I need to see justice," Hariraj said.

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