A growing legal dispute between Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard and the Steuben County Legislature has reached the New York State Supreme Court.
Sheriff Allard alleges that the Chair of the Steuben County Legislature, Scott Van Etten, accused him of corruption and threatened punitive action against him, specifically related to an alleged increase in the County Jail food budget.
These allegations come despite an external audit which cleared the Sheriff of any financial wrongdoing. In response, Chairman Van Etten dismissed the Sheriff’s claims as “absurd.”
Recently, the Steuben County Legislature passed two resolutions which Sheriff Allard is contesting in his petition to the state court, claiming they are “statutorily defective” and were enacted in bad faith. These resolutions reportedly strip the Sheriff of certain legal protections, imposing a hefty requirement for personal liability insurance, the cost of which Allard would bear. This recent development appears to be the climax of mounting tension between the Sheriff’s Office and the County Legislature, with past disputes involving insurance, policy compliance, and internal investigations.
The Sheriff’s Association of the County of Steuben has since released a statement ensuring that the ongoing dispute does not affect the county’s deputies or the safety of its residents. The County Manager, Jack Wheeler, commented that the events presented in the petition contrast significantly with the county’s account.
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