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June 18, 2014

Embattled highway chief resigns

MALONE – Thomas Shanty has resigned as Malone highway superintendent in a letter obtained late Monday by Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne.

The resignation takes effect Friday, June 20.

Shanty is facing 11 counts of official misconduct for allegedly using town vehicles, equipment and employees for personal repairs and deliveries.

He is also accused of driving a town-owned vehicle with town-purchased gasoline to the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation at least 12 times in the past two years to buy cigarettes.

Because an order of protection is in place, barring him from entering any town property or contacting town representatives, the letter went to the DA instead.

The Town Council appointed Deputy Highway Superintendent Bruce Mallette as acting superintendent when Shanty was arrested the first time on May 21 for the Akwesasne trips.

Champagne added the other 10 misconduct counts last week as the State Police investigation continued.

Shanty did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

Town Supervisor Howard Maneely said the Town Council will likely leave Mallette in as acting highway superintendent since the position is up for election this fall.

The DA vowed to seek Shanty’s resignation in light of the numerous misdemeanor charges.

“This was my main priority - protecting taxpayers in light of the allegations,” Champagne said. “And we’ll address the rest on where we go from here with his defense attorney,” who is Peter Dumas.

Shanty’s case cannot be heard in the Town of Malone so in May County Court Judge Robert G. Main Jr. assigned the first misconduct charge to Town of Bangor Justice Frederick Boardway.

But the June 13 resignation of Malone Judge Frank Cositore leaves Malone court shorthanded, and Boardway may be assigned to help there, which would make him ineligible to preside over Shanty’s case.

Champagne said Main then reassigned all 11 misconduct counts to the Town of Waverly Court, but a date for Shanty’s first appearance has not been determined.

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