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Schenectady man, former chair of golf course commission, admits criminal sex act

Schenectady man, former chair of golf course commission, admits criminal sex act

Donald Clough to be sentenced to three years in state prison
Schenectady man, former chair of golf course commission, admits criminal sex act
Donald Clough, in purple, in court Thursday
Photographer: Pete DeMola/Gazette Reporter

SCHENECTADY — A city resident who has served on at least one municipal board has pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree criminal sex act with a child. 

Donald Clough, 65, admitted Thursday in Schenectady County Court to engaging in “oral sexual conduct” with a 16-year-old female. 

The act occurred between March and April of 2018 at Clough’s McClellan Street residence.

As a result of the plea, Clough is to be sentenced to three years in state prison and 10 years post-release supervision. 

Prosecutors said Clough originally faced a four-year sentence. 

Clough has been active in city politics, having previously served as chairman of the Schenectady Municipal Golf Advisory Commission, a position he no longer holds.

Albany County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer McCanney, who was brought in to serve as special prosecutor, said her office has evidence that the crimes began when the victim was young as 11 or 12.

Clough will be forced to register as a sex offender following his release. The exact level will be determined once he undergoes a risk assessment as part of his release, McCanney said. 

The victim’s family agreed to the agreement, the prosecutor said. 

Clough will be formally sentenced Oct. 3 and remains free on bail with an order of protection to safeguard the victim.

Clough has been active in city politics, having previously served as chairman of the Schenectady Municipal Golf Advisory Commission, a position he no longer holds.

Campaign finance reports reveal Mayor Gary McCarthy’s campaign paid Clough for work on at least two occasions, including on Sept. 5 and Sept. 23, 2017.

Asked about the case Thursday, McCarthy responded, "Sad situation."

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