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Maloney Breaks Law By Running For AG, GOP Congressional Candidate Says

James "Jimmy" O'Donnell
James "Jimmy" O'Donnell Photo Credit: Provided

A Republican candidate for Congress is accusing U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of breaking the law by running for state Attorney General -- and reelection to his 18th District seat.

"It's illegal and unethical!" James D. O'Donnell proclaims in a campaign fundraising letter. "For weeks we have known Sean Maloney has had his eyes set on being our next New York Attorney General. For years we have known that Sean Maloney has no interest in serving the people of the Hudson Valley in Congress."

When the third-term Democrat from Putnam County announced his candidacy for Attorney General on Wednesday, as reported here by Daily Voice, Maloney's campaign said they were researching the legalities of running for both offices this year.

Maloney floated the idea of seeking the Democratic Party nomination shortly after Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned over a sex and battery abuse scandal.

Some Democratic leaders expressed their displeasure: "I also think it’s an insult to the people in his congressional district," said Elisa Sumner, Dutchess County Democratic Party chairwoman. "He’s basically saying to them, 'If I can’t be A.G., then I’ll still be your Representative, but if I can, I’m leaving.'"

O'Donnell, who is an Orange County legislator, wrote, "It is our job as patriots to stand up against this insanity. Representing the Hudson Valley in Congress is no one's consolation prize."

As a retired lieutenant colonel with the New York state police and the former chief of police at the MTA, O'Donnell said he knows how important it is to have an Attorney General "who will dispense justice without fear or favor and who will conduct themselves with honor, integrity and independence."

"As your Congressman, I will always put your interests ahead of my own and make sure that the Hudson Valley gets its fair share from Washington," O'Donnell said.

O'Donnell began his law enforcement career in 1974 as a state trooper, advancing to major and captain.

In 1993, he returned to Orange County as Commander of Troop F in Middletown. In 1999, then-Gov. George Pataki of Garrison appointed O'Donnell as chief of the MTA Police.

During the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks on the World Trade Center, then-Chief O’Donnell oversaw the MTA’s evacuation of New York City as well as police response for months following that disaster.

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