Letter: Putnam Sheriff Report

Nearly a year had passed since the Putnam County Legislature approved paying $45,000 to the accounting firm Bonadio & Co. to study overtime spending at the Sheriff’s Department under then-Sheriff Robert Langley Jr. (Where’s the Report?, April 22), with no sign of its findings.

The first indication that the report’s unveiling might soon be imminent came during the Sept. 16 Protective Services Committee meeting, where it was revealed that a draft had been delivered to the county executive but not to the sheriff or to legislators. A month later, an undersheriff said that the department’s contact at Bonadio indicated that three drafts had been delivered to the county executive.

At the Protective Services meeting in April, Legislator Nancy Montgomery asked the current sheriff if the steps he is taking to restructure the department were based upon the findings of the Bonadio report. He said they were not. She asked if he was in possession of the report. He said he was not. She asked if he had seen the report. He said he had not.

Legislators Ginny Nacerino and Carl Albano both tried to steer the conversation away from the report, with Albano making comments to the effect that he was sure the sheriff would look at the report “when it becomes available.”

Is it possible that the reason no one besides the county executive seems to know anything about the results of this study — or at least claims not to know anything — is because it backfired on them? Could it be it wasn’t the scathing indictment of Langley’s handling of the budget they were hoping it would be? Is it possible that the study vindicated Langley, and that’s the reason our county executive and the legal department have gone to such lengths to suppress it?

Let’s be real: Given all the vitriol exchanged between the former sheriff and our county government, if the study (unfinished or not) had findings that reflected negatively upon Langley and his department, it would have found its way into public view before the November election, the same way confidential footage of a collision involving a sheriff’s deputy somehow found its way into the hands of NBC News for a hit piece on Langley in the homestretch of the race.

Tom Weller, Carmel

Weller publishes the Putnam County Watchdog Report.

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