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Oneida County Independence Party chair pleads not guilty to slew of charges

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The chairman of the Oneida County Independence Party was in Oneida County Court Friday for a proceeding relating to nearly 30 charges he is currently facing.

This was John Dote's first appearance before visiting Judge Donald Cerio from Onondaga County.

An outside judge has to hear this case because anyone who ran for office the past several years had to go to Dote, as Chairman of the Independence Party, and ask him for the party endorsement. In essence there is a potential conflict of interest. Dote entered a not guilty plea to the 29 crimes, various felonies and misdemeanors he faces.

Among them are seven counts of grand larceny which accuse him of stealing roughly $59,000 from the party over a five-year period from 2005-2010. Also, scheme to defraud, falsifying business records, perjury, money laundering, tax fraud and unlawful personal use of campaign funds.

Dote's case is back on the court calendar on February 28th at which time his attorney will make certain requests of the court on his behalf. Dote wanted to speak to NEWSChannel 2 but his attorney would not let him. They say do not expect a plea deal and that this case will go to trial.

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