Press-Republican

Local News

September 6, 2013

Legislators berate sheriff on staff's duties

MALONE — Franklin County legislators tore into Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill on Thursday, suggesting they may cut his budget and reclassify deputies so they can’t make arrests.

He was called on the carpet two weeks after Legislator Guy “Tim” Smith (D-Fort Covington) was arrested by a sheriff’s deputy and charged with driving while his ability was impaired by alcohol.

At Thursday’s County Legislature meeting, Legislator Paul Maroun (R-Tupper Lake) demanded written proof from Mulverhill that, on Aug. 15, Deputy Luke Cromp was actually checking on sex offenders, not waiting to pull Smith over.

“I want to know where that (Sheriff’s Department) car was going that night,” he shouted at the sheriff. 

CAN MAKE ARRESTS

Cromp is one of eight Police Academy graduates on the sheriff’s staff who holds full policing powers, including the ability to make arrests.

Typically, their job involves serving civil summonses, eviction notices and other legal documents and checking on registered sex offenders.

But the police-trained deputies can make arrests or ticket alleged offenders if they see a crime or violation occurring.

According to figures tracked by Undersheriff Patrick White and provided to the Press-Republican on Thursday afternoon, deputies made 33 vehicle-and-traffic stops across the county between Jan. 1 and Sept. 4. 

They included drivers allegedly crossing the center lane of traffic; seat-belt violations; cellphone violations; a case of alleged driving while intoxicated in St. Regis Falls; and two incidents of alleged driving while the driver’s ability was impaired, one in Saranac Lake and the other in Westville.

ROADSIDE SOBRIETY TEST

Cromp reported that he pulled Smith’s car over on Route 37 near the Westville/Malone town line about 6 p.m. after observing it “driving erratically.” 

He conducted a roadside sobriety test with State Police assistance and charged Smith with DWAI and failure to stay in his own lane of traffic.

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