Knox barn collapse said to be sabotage

KNOX — The total collapse of a nearly finished barn on West Road is being investigated by State Police as the owner, Vasilios Lefkaditis, says supporting posts had been sawed.

“I’m not going to make any speculations or make any discussions about my observations at this point,” said State Police Trooper C. J. Maniscalco, who visited the property and said no tips have been reported so far in the ongoing investigation.

Maniscalco said the collapse was reported on Sept. 27. Lefkaditis, manager of a real-estate equity fund and a Berne-Knox-Westerlo school board member, said the barn collapsed on Sept. 8, just an hour after his children were in the second floor of the post-and-beam barn that had “95 percent” of its framing complete. He suggested he was targeted as a public figure, but he could think of no specific reason someone would cause him harm.

Lefkaditis said he is offering a $5,000 reward for any tips leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever cut five of seven posts on the east side of the structure. There were 28 posts altogether in the barn that Lefkaditis said was 40 by 70 feet and 36-feet tall. He estimated as much as $11,000 of materials were lost and he plans to rebuild the barn.

More Hilltowns News

  • The Berne-Knox-Westerlo Board of Education is putting up for a Nov. 2 vote two propositions for capital projects — for $15 million and $5 million. After a lengthy debate over whether the capital project was a “blank check” or a means of improving student education, three board members voted yes, one voted no, and one abstained.

  • Write-in candidates appear to have won the majority of the Independence Party nominations in Berne and Knox following Tuesday’s primary elections.

  • Following the closure of Rensselaerville Volunteer Ambulance, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office has had to offer an ambulance with an emergency medical provider as well as a paramedic in a fly car. This has led to an increase in the costs for the three Hilltowns served: Berne, Westerlo, and Rensselaerville.