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Former deputy convicted of perjury in Tompkins County

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Zachary D. Starner, a 36-year-old Lansing resident and former Tompkins County Sheriff’s Deputy, has been convicted of perjury in the third degree by a jury in Ithaca City Court. The announcement was made by Tompkins County District Attorney Matthew Van Houten on Wednesday.

Starner had been on administrative leave from his job since his arrest on February 8, 2021. He was charged with providing false sworn testimony in connection with a criminal trial in Tompkins County Court in 2019. The investigation was conducted by the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, and Sheriff Derek Osborne was the arresting officer in connection with the perjury charge.

The trial began on March 20, 2023, and concluded with a jury verdict just before noon on Wednesday, March 22. The conviction carries a sentence of up to 364 days in jail, probation, or a conditional discharge. Sentencing has been scheduled for May 26, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. before Judge Richard M. Wallace.

“Dishonesty from a law enforcement officer has no place in this community. This verdict represents a significant message that no one is above the law in Tompkins County. I want to commend ADA Veronica Fox for her strong advocacy and steadfast work on this difficult case,” said Van Houten.

Sheriff Osborne added, “I am both grateful for the verdict and thankful to the jury who took this allegation as seriously as I did. I remain committed to allowing only the best public servants to serve as my deputies.”

Starner had been represented by Daniel Strollo from Rochester, while Assistant District Attorney Veronica Fox prosecuted the case, assisted by ADA Heidi Paulino.