The Putnam Examiner

Putnam Legislators Demand Greater Transparency from Sheriff’s Office

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By Gabriel Harrison

Putnam County legislators demanded greater transparency from the sheriff’s office last night during a committee meeting.

The discussion focused on the sharing of disciplinary records with the legislature.

“We should receive reports and updates on situations that occur, and also explanations of more depth on how they’ve been handled and what’s been done,” said Legislator Neal Sullivan.

The meeting followed a week of protests in Putnam County and around the country against police violence.

“We’ve seen a bad apple in a police department and it has turned the country on its head,” Legislator Ginny Nacerino said. “We should have that information because it is our… responsibility to protect the people of Putnam County.”

Earlier yesterday, the New York State Senate voted to repeal section 50-A of New York State’s Civil Rights Law, which shields police personnel information, including disciplinary records, from public access, according to reporting by Forbes.

On Twitter yesterday, Sheriff Robert Langley posted a link to a statement in which he wrote that he did not support the repeal.

Langley also wrote, “some members of the legislature and other members of county government want to have unfettered access [to] the personnel records of the members of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department.”

However, Nacerino stated that no legislator arbitrarily requested unfettered access to personnel records. Legislator Paul Jonke concurred, saying he can’t remember any incident of a legislator requesting records beyond disciplinary records.

Minutes and and audio of Putnam County legislative sessions can be found on the Putnam County website.

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