Jefferson County has released the official reports concerning the night a deputy was allegedly found in his patrol car with an open bottle of alcohol last December. Our Brian Dwyer has the details and the sheriff's reaction to the call for an outside investigation into his handling of it.
JEFFERSON COUNTY, N.Y. -- The report from Sheriff John Burns, which is somewhat redacted, says Deputy Adam Hallet was found in his patrol car, along with his police K-9, on the side of Country Route 72 in the Town of Henderson. He appeared drunk. He ended up getting only a ticket for an open container.
The sheriff has been getting backlash from county lawmakers on the way he handled it. In fact, they've called for an outside investigation.
"I'm certainly open to it if that's what it's going to come to," Burns said.
A report from the County Attorney was also released. In it, David Paulson says a woman who's named wad redacted, called 911 the night of December 1st, described Hallet as slumped over the wheel and seemingly unconscious. For unknown reasons, Hallet told the woman his name was "Mark."
Both reports say the deputy who responded to the call, whose name was blacked out, found the open bottle and threw it into the nearby field.
Hallet and the dog were brought home and Hallet's car and gun were brought back to the Public Safety Building.
Burns says he met with Hallet two days later and Hallet said he "messed up."
Burns says the DA's office told him because there were no witnesses to him driving, there wasn't enough evidence for a DWI arrest, so he ticketed Hallet for an open container. The DA's office is disputing the exact way that conversation took place.
Hallet was suspended for 10 days and can't drive the patrol car for 60 days.
The sheriff says the deputy who threw the bottle in the field is also being punished.
The sheriff's report also outlines several changes to code and training that will be made as a result.