Andrew Quinlan found guilty of gambling charge
TIOGA COUNTY, N.Y. - Following two days of arguments and testimony, and four hours of deliberation, a jury delivered a verdict of guilty on Monday on charges filed against Tioga County Legislator Andrew J. Quinlan, the Waverly, N.Y. businessman who stood trial for gambling charges that include possession of gambling records, a Class E Felony.
Andrew Quinlan, a Tioga County Legislator representing Waverly, N.Y., and owner of Quinlan's Tree Service was found guilty of six charges of promoting gambling in the second degree as well as the felony charge of possession of gambling records.
The jury weighed days of testimony involving characters such as 'Beaver,' 'Bushie' and 'Black Walnut,' pages of documents seized from the Quinlan home during a February 2010 raid, and listened to some of the 800 phone calls recorded by New York State Police during their investigation to reach their decision.
Attorney Robert Clune represented Andrew Quinlan, and said he was disappointed by the guilty verdict, and always felt that Andrew Quinlan was innocent. "But that's the jury's verdict," Clune said.
Assistant District Attorney Andy McElwee, from the Tompkins County District Attorney's office, tried the case after Tioga County's District Attorney Gerald Keene recused himself.
McElwee said that it was clear the jury took seriously their deliberations and weighed all the evidence. The amount and prevalence of illegal gambling activity in the Southern Tier was surprising to McElwee, though he said Andrew Quinlan operated on a much smaller scale than Jeffrey Iacovelli and Carmen Ciaschi from Ithaca, N.Y., who's gambling enterprise involved over a million dollars.
McElwee said that gambling addiction is an addiction like any other, and the problem is more serious than many people realize. He added that he took his cases one step at a time, and with the guilty verdict he would now consider recommendations for punishment before the Sept. 21 sentencing scheduled at the Tioga County Courthouse before Judge Vincent Sgueglia.
The maximum sentence Andrew Quinlan could face is four years for the felony conviction.
Andrew Quinlan said he does not blame the jury for their verdict, holding no animosity towards them. "I am not a book maker," Andrew Quinlan said, adding that he does not even gamble anymore.
Andrew Quinlan was released following the verdict to await his sentencing. Upon departing the courtroom, Andrew Quinlan and wife Marilee Quinlan said they had little choice but to pick up the pieces and get back to work tomorrow.
Later in the day, Tioga County Legislative Chairman Dale Weston said that the conviction of Andrew Quinlan on a felony count would end Quinlan's tenure on the Tioga County Legislature.
Someone will have to be appointed by the legislature to replace Andrew Quinlan and serve out the remainder of his term, Weston said, adding that it was too soon to speculate about who might replace him.
"Andy's a very nice person," Weston said of Quinlan, "it's unfortunate for him."
Wendy Post contributed to this report