• Rich Klein

OUR RESPONSE TO SHERIFF MICHAEL SCHIFF

Sheriff Michael Schiff and Undersheriff Eric Chaboty would like the public to believe that they have the public's best interest at heart in everything they do.

Well, how about the millions of dollars in cost over runs for the new jail that they lobbied so hard for? Yes, we needed a new jail but the astronomical costs saddled taxpayers for years to come. That's before the contractor made a mistake and the county had to pay for the cleanup, too.

How about trying to take the 911 Control Center away from good, professional people to put it totally under Schiff and Chaboty WITHOUT any public notice or input? Remember, it was not until this media outlet exposed it that a few hundred EMS workers, firefighters and the commander of Troop F showed up in force at the Legislature to confront the attempted takeover.

How about that there were some 11 applicants for the Accounts Payable Coordinator job in his office and lo, and behold, the wife of a sitting judge got the position at $43,000 per year on March 2 while her husband was under investigation by his peers?

The SullivanTimes has asked the County where that job was advertised but so far, silence.

How about that Chaboty just a few week ago violated the spirit of our Constitution by telling the Executive Committee of the County Legislature that a local business owner was facing "serious felony crimes" involving insurance fraud? He did that because he and Schiff only want Prestige Towing to have the contracts that had been legally awarded to Skelly's Towing in late 2019 and which was lost by Prestige in the bidding. Chaboty announced that he was visiting with Acting District Attorney Meagan Galligan about Michael Skelly. So, Mr. Undersheriff, how did that go for you? The SullivanTimes has also asked the County for all documents, including emails, relating to towing contracts that went to Prestige over the past decade. We'll wait, then report.

Schiff also controls the Republican Party and Chaboty controls the Independence Party in Sullivan. Republicans and Independents can't get elected without their blessing. So who is being political?

Schiff and Chaboty also enjoy widespread support in the Hasidic communities. Some residents in recent weeks have contacted the Sheriff's Office with complaints about large groups gatherings in the ultra Orthodox communities and not following the state's executive order on social distancing. But the Sheriff, at a recent Town Hall, brushed those complaints aside and said the community was complying. Evidence gathered by residents, some of which has been sent to The SullivanTimes, says otherwise.

As for what prompted Schiff and Chaboty's repugnant diatribe today, we don't have a problem with Schiff and Chaboty saying thank you to local businesses that they patronize.

But the four posts on his page (called Sheriff Michael Schiff) on March 19 was much more than that. There were four separate posts with pictures and texts. And the market just happened to be owned by Rob Doherty, the chair of the Legislature. The Sheriff's post today accused us of a political attack. Well, good luck with that. This media outlet ENDORSED Rob Doherty over Scott Samuelson.

Did you notice that Schiff conveniently forgot to mention the name of the store owner in his free ad?

Schiff and Chaboty also had their officers attend a recent lecture from County health officials about the pandemic. None of them were wearing masks and many were sitting close together. Yeah, that's some example of leadership.

Finally, this media outlet still wants to know how inmates and correction officers inside Sullivan County Jail are being treated during the pandemic. Has the Sheriff made ANY public statements about that?

The SullivanTimes has started to receive information from sources about conditions there from late March and early April and that's a story in the works.

(Additional information may be added to this editorial)

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