COHOES - Mayor Shawn Morse was indicted Thursday on federal charges the he used campaign contributions for personal benefit.
Among the personal expenses he is suspected of covering with campaign funds are vacations and home repairs, the indictment reads.
Morse, a Democrat, appeared in federal court in Albany Thursday afternoon and pleaded not guilty. He was released pending trial.
Morse faces one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, five counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to the FBI. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
Morse is accused of soliciting campaign funds with his campaign treasurer Ralph Signoracci and then directing Signoracci to withdraw funds so Morse could pay personal expenses. Signoracci is not named as a defendant in the indictment.
The two men then concealed those expenditures by falsely reporting the purpose or by not reporting them or disclosing them, officials allege. Then, the indictment alleges, Morse gave false information to the FBI in September when asked about the scheme.
After his court appearance Thursday, Morse posted a brief statement to his Facebook page.
"This is my one and only statement. Thank you for all the love and support! This is the last hurdle we face," Morse wrote. "I am confident this will be over soon and we will finally have this all behind us."
The case is being investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Kinsella Kistler.