WKTV staff members testify in case of scandalous legislative letter

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Grand Jury proceedings are confidential and protected by law. A grand jury witness, however, can talk about their own testimony.

Several WKTV employees were subpoenaed to appear as witnesses before the grand jury Tuesday in the case surrounding a letter which accuses certain Oneida County legislators of blackmail and sweetheart deals.

The Oneida County District Attorney's Office is trying to determine who wrote the letter and who delivered it to, among others, local media outlets.

By law, reporters who were involved in the proceedings were not allowed to discuss, or report any of the goings on of the court, with the exception of what they testified on Tuesday.

Among the grand jury witnesses Tuesday was NEWSChannel 2 Reporter Joleen Ferris.

"I took an oath to tell the truth in the case of the People of the State of New York versus Bill Hendricks and Bob Barry, so that told me the District Attorney's office was exploring criminal charges against both men," Ferris told the grand jury. "I testified that Bill Hendricks never admitted to me that he wrote the letter even though his signature appears at the end, and that Bob Barry denied delivering it anywhere, even though a WKTV employee said he handed it to her."

Since neither Barry nor Hendricks are under arrest, any indictment against them by a grand jury would be sealed until they appear in court.

If the grand jury does indict either man, the D.A.'s Office would contact them and tell them to appear in court with an attorney for an arraignment in the next couple of days.

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