AS DAMAGING JUDICIAL CONDUCT REPORT WAS BEING FINALIZED
Corrine McGuire, the wife of new County Attorney Michael McGuire has been hired by Sheriff Mike Schiff's office, effective March 2, 2020.
In an email sent to The SullivanTimes just now (April 22) in response to a Freedom of Information Law request, the County wrote:
"Corrine McGuire is on County payroll and is employed in the Sheriff’s Office Civil Division and her title is Accounts Payable Coordinator. Hire date was March 2, 2020 at a salary of $43,087." (Corrine McGuire is a former Village of Liberty trustee who lost her bid for re-election last November).
It is unknown if the position that Corrine McGuire attained was publicly advertised or if other candidates had applied. The SullivanTimes has sent a subsequent request for that information with the FOIL officer today.
Michael McGuire was under investigation by the Commission on Judicial Conduct for more than a year before the Commission took action on March 18 and announced its decision on March 26. McGuire had 30 days to appeal the decision but it's unclear if he did.
Despite the Commission's hard-hitting and detailed report, the Republican-led Legislature plowed ahead with McGuire's appointment, even attacking the report's findings. Editorials in The SullivanTimes and The Sullivan County Democrat, along with many letters to the editor to both publications, called for the Legislature to rescind the appointment. Michael McGuire began work on April 20.
Sheriff Michael Schiff is the unofficial head of the Republican Party in Sullivan County under "Team Schiff." He and Undersheriff Eric Chaboty campaigned heavily and got out the vote for many Republicans, including former DA Jim Farrell (now County Court judge) and were largely responsible for the historic Republican landslide in the new County Legislature.
Last week, Chaboty addressed the Executive Committee of the County Legislature and dropped the bombshell that Michael Skelly of Skelly's Towing in Liberty was "facing serous felony charges" involving insurance fraud. Skelly believes that the Sheriff's office has unfairly targeted him so it could continue funneling all county and evidentiary towing in the County to Prestige Towing.
Chaboty did not return our email request for comment last week immediately after he accused Skelly, who was questioned by Sgt. Paul Slavik one week ago today. Skelly denied he did anything illegal and is retaining legal counsel.
Despite Chaboty's bombshell accusation in a public forum, the legislators who were helped to election victories by Team Schiff, did not question Chaboty about what he said and indicated they were going to remove Skelly from a towing contract that he already had won and give the evidentiary towing business (not formally under contract but won by Skelly) back to Prestige Towing as well.
During the executive committee meeting, outgoing County Attorney Cheryl McCausland said that she conferred with "Michael" (believed to be McGuire) before saying that Skelly could be removed based on the Sheriff's Office "investigation."