Bomb Threat Targets Judge, State Office Building, Court ComplexPosted: Updated:
Judge James McClusky, who has been attacked for a controversial sentencing in Jefferson County Court, became the target of a bomb threat Monday, which prompted the evacuation of two Watertown buildings.
Lucian Chalfen, spokesperson for the New York State Unified Court System, said someone called Lewis County 911 shortly before 1 p.m., mentioned a bomb and Judge McClusky's name.
Chalfen said the threat was related to McClusky's sentencing of Shane Piche, who admitted to having sex with a 14 year old girl he met while he worked as a Watertown school bus driver. Piche was sentenced to 10 years probation and was required to register as a Level 1 sex offender.
The story drew international attention because Piche received no jail time; it prompted angry phone calls to the judge and lawyers in the case.
While the Piche case wasn't specifically referenced in the bomb threat, Chalfen said it was absolutely related.
After Lewis County officials received the 911 call, they contacted their counterparts in Jefferson County.
Detective Lieutenant Joe Donoghue of the Watertown Police Department said the 911 call also specifically mentioned the county District Attorney's Office and the courthouse.
The Dulles State Office Building and the Jefferson County Court complex were evacuated.
A worker at the State Office Building said an announcement was made on the public address system, telling everyone to leave the building. No reason was given, the worker said.
"They said there was an emergency and they needed everyone in the building to evacuate. There wasn't any panic or anything," said Jessica Hart, who works in the building.
According to Chalfen, bomb-sniffing dogs were brought into the buildings and found no explosives.
Employees were later allowed back inside.
It's unclear where the call originated.
If a suspect is caught, he or she could face a felony charge of making a terroristic threat.