Molloy Newspaper Case Continues Another Month

Protection order, payment discussed

By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong

The local courtroom drama known as the Barney Molloy alleged-theft-of-newspapers case continued on March 8 in Cold Spring Justice Court and promises to run at least another month.

In February, Molloy pleaded not guilty to allegations he had stolen four copies of The New York Times, valued at $2.50 each, from bundles outside Cupoccino Cafe, a village coffee shop.

Molloy chairs the Putnam County Visitor’s Bureau Board of Directors and serves on the board of the Cold Spring Area Chamber of Commerce. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Cold Spring in 2015 and a year later lost a race for village trustee.

In the March 8 court action, Molloy’s attorney, Steve Patterson, pledged to submit a check for $10 to pay for the missing papers.

Judge Thomas Costello, Patterson, and Assistant Putnam County District Attorney Patricia Rau also agreed to adjourn the proceedings until April 12 to allow the two sides more time for negotiations.

Rau told the judge she foresees no additional charges against Molloy but also could not discuss a closure to the case without talking to Cupoccino’s owners.

At one point, the judge mentioned the existence of a surveillance video, which he had declined to view but which was sent along to the D.A.’s office. Use of a surveillance camera suggests an ongoing problem, he said.

The hearing likewise included references to a possible order of protection for Cupoccino against Molloy.

Patterson questioned the relevance of an order of protection, noting that “there’s never been any harassment” by Molloy. “He was there [at Cupoccino] almost every day” without incident before his arrest by Cold Spring Police, which took place after he had left the shop, Patterson said.

Costello declined to act on the suggestion of an order of protection and told Rau and Patterson it “only confuses me more. I’m wondering why I have this. It is all about $10.” For four allegedly pilfered newspapers, “there’s an order of protection [sought]? This doesn’t make sense. There’s been no threat. How am I supposed to issue an order of protection?”

“We’re not moving for one today,” Rau answered, explaining that Cupoccino’s owners contemplated an order of protection to bar Molloy entry as a customer.

Patterson said the case itself would deter Molloy from again going to Cupoccino.

When Costello asked about a payment for the papers at the heart of the dispute, Rau replied that $10 should be sent to the D.A.’s office, for forwarding to Cupoccino.

The judge then advised they “get the $10 out of the way.”

“It’s done,” Patterson concurred. “They’ll have a check tomorrow.”