Poughkeepsie Journal

November 29, 2002

Andros dies in prison of apparent heart attack  

By Larry Fisher-Hertz
Poughkeepsie Journal

PLATTSBURGH -- Fred Andros, convicted last year of masterminding the 1999 murder of Town of Poughkeepsie resident Susan Fassett, died Thursday night following an apparent heart attack in his prison cell, state prison authorities confirmed Friday.

Andros, 62, was in Clinton Correctional Facility serving a 25-years-to-life sentence for the murder of his former girlfriend, Susan Fassett.

Fassett, 48, was shot six times as she left choir practice at a church in Pleasant Valley on Oct. 28, 1999.

Greene County resident Dawn Silvernail admitted firing the fatal shots but testified at Andros' trial that Andros had coerced her into committing the crime. Silvernail is serving an 18-years-to-life sentence for second-degree murder.

Andros also was implicated in a corruption scandal while he was Town of Poughkeepsie water superintendent. He admitted in federal court that he had delivered cash from construction kickback schemes to the office of then-Dutchess County Elections Commissioner William Paroli Sr.

Paroli, who was chairman of the Dutchess County Republican Committee at the time, has completed a federal prison term for his part in the scandal.

Andros was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for his part in the corruption scandal but was ordered to serve his state prison sentence first.

See Saturday's edition of the Poughkeepsie Journal for complete coverage.

May 27, 1999: Fred Andros, superintendent of the town's water department, pleads guilty to a single charge of conspiracy in connection with a three-year federal investigation of corruption in the Town of Poughkeepsie. Andros admits in federal court in White Plains he extorted money from contractors on behalf of William Paroli Sr., who was the Town of Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County Republican chairman. Andros' resignation from his town job was accepted by the Poughkeepsie town board the night before he pleaded guilty.

Oct. 28: Susan Fassett, personnel assistant for the Town of Poughkeepsie, is fatally shot as she leaves choir practice at a Pleasant Valley church shortly before 9 p.m.

Dec. 28: Dawn Silvernail, a Greene County resident, is arrested by New York State Police in connection with Fassett's murder.

Dec. 29: Fred Andros attempts to commit suicide, according to police, as authorities arrive at his Hyde Park home to serve a search warrant in connection with the Fassett murder case. Silvernail is charged later in the day in connection with the murder. Police allege Silvernail and Andros were responsible for killing Fassett. Andros is taken to Westchester Medical Center, where he is treated for a gunshot wound to the head.

Jan. 6, 2000: A Dutchess County grand jury indicts Andros and Silvernail. The two are charged with second-degree murder.

Jan. 28: Andros is released from Westchester Medical Center and transferred to the Dutchess County Jail. Upon his arrival at the jail in Poughkeepsie, Silvernail is transferred to the Putnam County Jail to prevent any encounter between the two inmates.

Feb. 17: Andros enters a plea of not guilty at his arraignment on the murder charge. Silvernail had earlier entered a not guilty plea in Dutchess County Court.

March 27: Silvernail pleads guilty to one count of second-degree murder. She acknowledges she shot Fassett and she agrees to testify against Andros.

April 26: Prosecutors announce new charges against Andros. In a superseding indictment, Andros is charged with second-degree conspiracy, as well as second-degree murder.

June 23: Andros is sentenced by a federal judge to 33 months in prison for his role in the town corruption scandal.

Jan. 24, 2001: Jury selection begins in Andros' murder trial in Dutchess County Court.

Feb. 22: The jury hears closing arguments in the case and begins its deliberations.

Feb. 23: The jury finds Andros guilty on both the conspiracy and second-degree murder charges.

March 14: Andros is sentenced 25 years to life in prison. The prison term is to run consecutively with the federal prison sentence.

Nov. 28, 2002: Andros dies of apparent heart attack in his prison cell at Clinton Correctional Facility.