Hearing postponed in elderly abuse case

Lance Wheeler for Columbia-Greene MediaJeff Yeh and his attorney, Trey Smith, of Albany, appear in Columbia County Court in June.

HUDSON — A case against a Stockport man and his mother for allegedly using an elderly disabled man’s credit card illegally was postponed in Columbia County Court on Tuesday to allow the defense more time to review affidavits related to search warrants in the case.

Jeffrey Yeh, 51, and his mother, Annette Loos, 75, were arraigned June 6 on charges of second-degree forgery, a class D felony; endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, a class E felony; two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, a class E felony; two counts of criminal possession of stolen property, a class E felony; and third-degree computer tampering, a class E felony.

Yeh was also charged with computer trespass, a class E felony, and six additional counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

On Tuesday, Yeh and Loos were scheduled to have a hearing ahead of the trial scheduled for Jan. 27. The purpose of the hearing was to see if recorded statements Yeh made to the police would be admissible in court.

But testimony from the state police investigator on the case was delayed.

In court on Tuesday, Yeh’s defense attorney, Trey Smith, of Albany, asked for more time to review 50 pages of affidavits related to several search warrants filed in the case. The affidavits were handed over by Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka on Tuesday after Columbia County Judge Richard Koweek ordered them unsealed.

“It is a lot of information,” Smith said, adding he needed more time to review the affidavits before questioning the investigator in court.

Koweek wanted to keep the case “moving along,” and rescheduled the court appearance to Nov. 25 at 1 p.m., saying no prior date is available.

Koweek denied Smith’s motion to have Czajka removed from the case against Yeh, according to court records.

Yeh, who identifies himself as a “whistleblower” in court documents, said he is being prosecuted by Czajka because he says he is exposing Czajka and other members of law enforcement for corruption. Because Yeh is “investigating” Czajka, it gives an appearance of impropriety in the case, according to the defense in court documents.

Courts have disqualified district attorneys on special occasions, such as to protect a defendant from prejudice arising from a demonstrated conflict of interest. But Koweek denied the motion, and said that no such conflict exists.

In court documents asking for Czajka’s removal, Yeh said he received a call from George Sharpe, a member of the Columbia County Republican Party. Sharpe asked Yeh and several prominent members of the Republican Party, including Czajka, to have a sit-down meeting, Yeh said in court documents. The meeting was ordered by Czajka, according to Yeh’s statement.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Sharpe denied Czajka was the person who called for the meeting, saying it “never, never happened.” Sharpe added he has known Czajka personally for decades, and Czajka has never discussed pending cases with him.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to apurcell@thedailymail.net, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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