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Steuben County conflict: Manager, Sheriff locked in legal standoff after video posted

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Steuben County is continuing to watch a public legal dispute between the County Legislature and Sheriff Jim Allard. County Manager Jack Wheeler addressed the issue in a recent Facebook video, aiming to clarify the Legislature’s stance and assure taxpayers that law enforcement officers remain fully insured. The controversy revolves around the Legislature’s decision due to concerns over rising liability and insurance costs, with Wheeler highlighting an increase in legal claims against the Sheriff’s Office.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Sheriff Allard has countered the County Manager’s claims, criticizing the administration for misrepresenting the situation and stressing the financial impracticality of purchasing liability insurance independently. The legal battle has escalated, with the county facing an increased deductible for insurance claims, further complicating the fiscal landscape for taxpayers.

The situation has moved to the courts, where a State Supreme Court Justice has granted the Sheriff’s request for discovery, aiming to unveil potential pressures on legislators during the decision-making process. The County is appealing this decision, emphasizing the need for confidentiality in legislative discussions. The ongoing saga reflects tensions within Steuben County’s governance, with implications for its law enforcement and financial accountability to residents.