Deputy Luke Cromp reported seeing a vehicle being driven erratically on Aug. 15 and pulled Smith over near the Westville/Malone town line about 6 p.m.
Smith, 71, a former chairman of the County Legislature who is running unopposed for re-election in November, pleaded not guilty and was to appear next in Malone Town Court today.
Legislators reminded Mulverhill on Sept. 5 that they control his budget and could therefore cut funding and possibly reassign deputies.
Mulverhill said he leaned over and asked Duffee if that kind of reclassification was possible.
“Paul told me he’d been asked to research that,” the sheriff said. “That was the only forewarning I had” that Sheriff’s Department personnel and budget could be in jeopardy.
A copy of the email response, obtained by the Press-Republican through a Freedom of Information request, states that if a deputy sheriff/correction officer is laid off, that person is placed at the top of the preferred list of Civil Service candidates so when another correction-officer position is created or a vacancy occurs, the laid-off person is offered the opening first.
If more than one deputy/CO is laid off, priority on the list goes by seniority, based on the person’s original hire date.
Those laid off also get priority for per-diem openings and remain on the preferred list for full-time placement as well.
Mulverhill said that if deputies are laid off and reassigned, fewer people would be available to make sex-offender checks.
As chief law-enforcement officer of a county, the sheriff has jurisdiction over sex offenders except in villages with municipal-police departments, according to Section 168 (a) of the Sex Offender Registration Act.
“The Sheriff’s Department is the sole watchdog for sex offenders, and without deputies (with full policing powers), we will not be able to fulfill our obligation,” Mulverhill said.