The AuSable Town Council is asking Highway Superintendent Timothy Booth to resign.

A resolution, supported by Councilors Jude Perkett Jr., Darcy Pray and Scott Zmijewski, passed recently asking Booth to step down, due to his January arrest for misdemeanor driving while intoxicated.

DOUBLE LEGAL LIMIT

Booth was operating the town's Ford F-350 truck while off duty when he was arrested. At the Plattsburgh State Police barracks, he was given a blood-alcohol test, which determined his BAC to be more than double the legal limit at 0.17 percent.

'POOR DECISION'

Booth, however, told the Press-Republican he has no intention of stepping down from his position. His term expires a the end of next year.

"It was a poor decision on my part to leave the house that night," Booth said.

As a result of his guilty plea, he has had to go to classes and comply with the conditions of his sentence.

As his license is suspended, Booth has been given a conditional license, which means that he cannot operate certain large pieces of machinery, such as the large plow trucks.

Councilor Steven Sucharski said it may be possible, however, for Booth to do so under emergency conditions.

His driving is also limited to going to and from work.

CAN'T BE REMOVED

Town Supervisor Sandra Senecal said that while the council put the measure forward, their power is limited in this situation.

"They don't have any authority to unseat the superintendent," she said.

Pray said that if Booth is adamant about not stepping down, other avenues can be explored.

One way would be for town residents to start a petition. The district attorney could also become involved, Pray said, and could possibly remove Booth from his position.

Pray said that, just like police and judges, elected officials should be held to a higher standard.

'OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEE'

Currently serving his fourth term, Booth has been highway superintendent for 19 years.

Sucharski said Booth has done everything required of him and is getting help. As a result, he believes Booth deserves a second chance.

"I didn't vote for the resolution," Sucharski said. "Tim Booth has been an outstanding employee."

Pray said as a result of the arrest his capacity to work is limited as Booth has only a conditional license.

"It ties his hands from operating the heavy equipment," Pray said.

Booth said residents will have their roads plowed as always.

PERSONAL

Complying with everything mandated for him by the courts, Booth said he believes this is an attack against him by certain Town Council members in a matter that he should be allowed to resolve in private.

"This is a personal thing for me," he said. "They should be there to do the business for the town."

Sucharski said he believes Booth has done everything he can to make amends for his indiscretion and hopes the council can move forward to find a sensible solution.

"I believe Tim Booth deserves a second chance," Sucharski said. "(But) absolutely he should be held accountable."

Booth said his conviction has not cost the taxpayers any money and that he will be able to continue doing his job while he deals with the problems in his personal life.

Sucharski agreed, saying that the council should be there to support Booth during this rough time, rather than create more problems for him during his recovery.

"He is being responsible, addressing the problem he has. I feel the town board should be supporting him with his addiction."

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