By LOHR McKINSTRY
---- — CROWN POINT — Crown Point Town Justice Arthur S. Miclette has been charged by State Police with possessing stolen tools.
Miclette, 59, of Crown Point was arrested Thursday on a misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property for allegedly having tools at his automobile-repair business that were missing from Champlain Valley Technical Educational Center.
Reached at his business, Village Auto, on Main Street in Crown Point on Friday, Miclette said he expects to be cleared of the charge against him.
Until then, he’s stepping down as Crown Point town justice, he said.
“I expect I will resume later. I assume another justice will handle the cases.”
'SEVERAL ITEMS SEIZED'
State Police Troop B Bureau of Criminal Investigation Capt. Robert LaFountain said Friday that police received information in August that Miclette had possible stolen property.
“An investigation was conducted by New York State Police in conjunction with the (Essex County) district attorney," he said.
"A search warrant was executed on the premises. Several items were seized. It was property that belonged to a school district.”
LaFountain said that, after the search, the case was transferred to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.
Miclette said the complaint to State Police involved miscellaneous tools that he had borrowed from CV-TEC in Mineville when he worked there.
He retired a few months ago, he told the Press-Republican, and hadn't had a chance to return them.
The accusation was from a disgruntled employee at his Village Auto business, Miclette said.
“A couple employees thought they were going to take my shop over, and I stepped in and said no.”
The complaint to police was in retaliation, he said.
JUSTICE SINCE 2000
Miclette was released on an appearance ticket for Schroon Town Court on Oct. 16.
The case was turned over to the Washington County DA because the Essex County District Attorney’s Office considers it a conflict of interest to handle it, since it regularly dealt with Miclette as a town justice.
Miclette was censured by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct in 2009 for alleged misconduct that included acting on a claim that he filed in his own court to collect money owed to Village Auto for repairs.
The commission did praise Miclette in its ruling for being “cooperative and contrite throughout the proceedings.”
Miclette has served as Crown Point justice since January 2000. He is not up for re-election until 2015.
Crown Point Town Supervisor Charles Harrington could not be reached Friday for information on who will be handling Miclette’s cases.
Email Lohr McKinstry: email@example.com