New York’s Commission on Judicial Conduct is recommending that a Town of Conklin Justice be removed from office. Marshall Ayres is accused of trying to use his office to get a traffic ticket against his daughter dismissed and trying to influence a county court judge. Both incidents occurred in 2015. After his adult daughter was ticketed for using a cell phone while driving, the commission accuses Ayres of trying to have the case transferred and then showing up and trying to intimidate the prosecutor. He is also accused of sending several unauthorized letters to a county court judge trying to get him to uphold restitution orders he had issued. Ayres has served as town justice since 2009 and has 30 days to request a review of the case by the Court of Appeals.
Former Broome County Executive Debbie Preston has accepted a plea deal in connection with using a town credit card for personal use. Preston was supposed to be arraigned on three counts of official misconduct yesterday, but instead pleaded guilty to one of those counts as part of a deal with special prosecutor Joseph Fazzary, the Schuyler County District Attorney. Preston will pay a $1,000 fine but won’t face any jail time after using a Town of Conklin credit card to make $20,000 worth of personal purchases in 2011 when she was town supervisor. She paid back the funds, and said again yesterday that she made a mistake but took care of it years ago.
Former Broome County Executive Debbie Preston is facing official misconduct charges, accused of abusing her power to use a credit card that was supposed to be for the Town of Conklin for her own personal use. The purchases were made in 2011 when Preston was the Supervisor in Conklin. She was formally charged today with three counts of official misconduct after an investigation by special prosecutor Schuyler County District Attorney Joseph Fazzary. Preston admitted during last year’s campaign that she used the card for personal use, but said she paid back the balance as soon as it was brought to her attention. Each misconduct charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail.
More details have been released concerning how 7-year-old Connor Brown fell into the Susquehanna River near Conklin and drowned on Sunday night. The Broome County Sheriff’s Office says Connor was playing outside his family’s home with his 8-year-old brother when he fell into the water and became trapped under the ice. His mother and brother also fell into the river trying to save him, but they were rescued by neighbors. Connor was pulled out of the water 15-20 minutes later, but it was too late. The 7-year-old was a second grade student in the Susquehanna Valley School District. The district said Connor was a very popular student, and their thoughts and prayers are with his family.
A special prosecutor has been assigned to investigate the past uses of a Town of Conklin credit card by current Broome County Executive Debbie Preston. Schuyler County District Attorney Joseph Fazzary has been assigned by Broome County Supreme Court Justice Molly Fitzgerald. While no charges have yet been filed, Fazzary has been assigned to be in charge of any “investigation, charge, and subsequent prosecution” of Preston. Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell recused himself from the case last week. Preston held a press conference on Tuesday and admitted to using a Town of Conklin Sam’s Club card for personal use when she was town supervisor in 2011. She paid it back with her own money in 2012. The Republican is running for re-election this year against Democrat challenger Jason Garnar.
Over 450 full-time jobs are coming to the Southern Tier over the next five years. The jobs come after Dick’s Sporting Goods announces that it is spending $100 million to build its next distribution center at Broome Corporate Park in Conklin. Construction on the new facility is slated to begin next month and is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2018. New York State, Broome County, and NYSEG all came together to incentivize the building of the distribution center in Conklin.
A woman from Johnson City has been arrested for stealing over $7,500 from a local fire department. 48-year-old Laura Landers was the treasurer of the Nanticoke Fire Department from 2012 to 2014. During that time, she is said to have taken $7,779 dollars. She was arraigned in the Town of Conklin Court and released to appear back in court at a later date.
One local man is looking at jail time after pleading guilty to two bank robberies that occurred in 2012. 54-year-old Scott Wade allegedly stole around $3,000 from the First Niagara Bank on Route 7 in Conklin, during two separate incidents three years ago. Wade plead guilty to felony counts of 3rd degree robbery and 4th degree grand larceny. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 13th, and could face between 2 and 4 years in prison.