CANTON -- The day before he officially announces his next run for Congress, environmental and free speech activist Donald Hassig of Colton says a trespassing charge against him from last October was dismissed today in Canton Town Court.
The charge was made as Hassig staged a “free speech, free singing and free dancing” demonstration in the St. Lawrence County Human Services Building last Oct. 30 to publicize the presence of persistent organic pollutants in the food supply and government’s inaction in warning the public about them.
There was to be a trial on the charge Thursday, according to Hassig, but he asked Justice Cathleen O’Horo to dismiss the charge after police witnesses subpoenaed to testify did not show up. He also presented what he said was a letter from St. Lawrence County Administrator Karen St. Hilaire outlining the conditions under which Hassig could appear in the building.
O’Horo dismissed the charge.
“I have found Judge O'Horo to be a most fair and reasonable arbiter of justice,” Hassig said in his post-trial statement.
Hassig says he intends to begin to seek the Green Party's nomination with an official announcement Friday in Watertown.
Hassig was, for a time, the Green Party candidate in last year’s contest for the 21st Congressional District seat, won by Democrat Bill Owens of Plattsburgh, but he lost the party’s endorsement after comments made at a candidates’ forum cast doubt on his credibility as a candidate.
Hassig finished a distant third behind Owens and Watertown Republican Matt Doheny.