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Lawyer for state charged with hate crimes

ALBANY — A lawyer for New York’s Department of Civil Service has been indicted on hate crime charges that he made harassing and threatening racist phone calls to neighbors and others.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares says 58-year-old James Hennessey used an online service in an effort to disguise the origin of the calls. The targets included African Americans, people with black spouses or other relatives and people renting to blacks.

Hennessey faces 11 felony counts of second-degree aggravated harassment as a hate crime, which carries a possible sentence of 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison on each count.

Soares’ office says Albany police and FBI investigators used phone and computer records to trace Hennessey.

Defense attorney Terence Kindlon says Wednesday that Hennessey will plead not guilty. He’s scheduled to be arraigned Friday.