Eight former Livingston County Jail deputies accept plea deal in time card investigation

Updated: 06/09/2014 6:24 PM
Created: 06/09/2014 6:24 AM WHEC.com
By: Nikki Rudd and Berkeley Brean

Livingston County Jail deputies were in court Monday after being arrested. They were accused of lying on their time sheets. Village Judge Thomas Bushnell said it was one of those days where he hated being on the bench.

In total, nine deputies were charged with falsifying documents. On Monday, eight of them admitted they would pay part-time jail deputies cash to cover their shifts while they marked those same days down on their time sheets. The district attorney called the lack of supervision at the jail “personally offensive”.

Eight men hired to guard people who broke the law admitted they broke the law by paying for part-time deputies to work for them.

The district attorney says the deputies in the jail did two things. First, they swapped their shifts with other deputies and sometimes lied on their time sheets about when they could make the shift up in the same pay period.

Greg McCaffrey, Livingston County District Attorney, said, “This was permissible known by the administration of the sheriff’s office and traditionally, a customary practice that was accepted by everyone.”

The second thing they did, according to the district attorney, was they paid part-time deputies to work for them. It was a practice the district attorney called “criminal.”

McCaffrey said, “Traditionally, for a rate of $100 for an eight hour shift and $50 for four hours of coverage. This money would usually be paid in cash.”

Kevin Van Allen, defense attorney, said, “It’s been described as the hardest thing they've ever had to do. Their careers were ended. These were good cops.”

Sheriff Thomas Dougherty, Livingston County Sheriff, said, “It is the situation we were dealt. I'm relieved we can move past the criminal side of things and get on with business here.”

The district attorney says former Sheriff John York and his senior staff was aware of the shift swapping, but did not know about and did not authorize the pay-for-work scheme.

McCaffrey said, “Lying was an authorized and approved practice. Whether we agree with it or not, that's how the jail was run, but paying was expressly prohibited.”

Judge Bushnell said he was upset that only the rank and file we're getting in trouble Monday.  The district attorney said he was “personally offended" by the lack of oversight at the jail.

Only one of the deputies was not offered the reduced charge. Andrew Eichhorn pleaded guilty to the initial charge of offering a false instrument for filing. He could face up to a year in jail. He's due back in court July 8 along with William Baker who was out of town.

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