ALBANY -- Gary Pivoda, the state janitor who investigators accused of selling drugs from a "man cave" in a downtown parking garage, walked in and out of City Court Monday morning a free man.
But if authorities have their way, his freedom may be short lived.
Two weeks after State Police raided the reputed pot den Pivoda allegedly shared with his boss while they were supposed to be working, Judge Thomas Keefe dismissed the case after no prosecuting agency filed any paperwork associated with the appearance tickets issued by the troopers.
Gary Pivoda, 48, had faced a misdemeanor charge of possessing drug paraphernalia and a violation of unlawful possession of marijuana.
But that was intentional and prosecutors still plan to examine felony charges in the case, according to an official with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office who spoke on condition of anonymity.
That official said the city court case, which was initiated by the State Police, was considered moot once the attorney general took over Friday and began to explore potentially more serious crimes.
One official said there was no reason to continue the misdemeanor charge in City Court and take up staff time with court appearances in the local court.
Pivoda of Colonie was arrested two weeks ago after State Police raided the hidden party lounge the state inspector general's office said Pivoda and his supervisor, Louis Marciano, 50, of Rensselaer, used as a lair for smoking pot and sleeping on state time. No charges were brought against Marciano.
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State Police said Pivoda sold marijuana to co-workers, but they never charged him with distribution of the drug.
Pivoda declined to talk as he left court.
"Apparently, the attorney general's office didn't bother to file the paperwork," Brian Donohue, Pivoda's attorney, said.
Asked about a report today in the Times Union that the attorney general's office is exploring possible felony charges in the case, Donohue said he knew "only what I read in the papers."
He added, "I'd like to know what sort of evidence they've got."
Both men remain suspended from work.
Staff writer James M. Odato contributed to this report