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‘Insufficient evidence’ in harassment investigation

By Matt Shortall
Posted 1/28/22

SULLIVAN COUNTY — An investigation into allegations of misconduct against Legislature Chairman Robert Doherty and three other County officials in the Town of Liberty last year has determined there to be “insufficient evidence” that County policy was violated.

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‘Insufficient evidence’ in harassment investigation

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SULLIVAN COUNTY — An investigation into allegations of misconduct against Legislature Chairman Robert Doherty and three other County officials in the Town of Liberty last year has determined there to be “insufficient evidence” that County policy was violated.

As the Democrat reported on November 9, the Town of Liberty issued a letter to County Legislators and other public officials describing “the inappropriate and unprofessional actions of certain county employees” during a meeting of the Town Board of Assessment Review (BAR) earlier that month.

Besides Chairman Doherty, the delegation included County Attorney Michael McGuire, Assistant County Attorney Robert Freehill and Assistant County Manager Michelle Huck.

It was alleged that County officials had attended the meeting to intimidate town BAR members regarding the taxable status of the Care Center at Sunset Lake. It was further alleged that Doherty used derogatory and profane language to refer to Town of Liberty Assessor Vanessa Kelder.

The County utilized a third-party investigator to look into the aforementioned allegations.

“At the conclusion of the investigation, there is insufficient evidence to support an allegation of a violation of the County’s Discrimination/Discriminatory Harassment Policy,” read a letter addressed to Town of Liberty Supervisor Frank DeMayo and signed by Legislature Majority Leader Alan Sorensen and Minority Leader Ira Steingart earlier this month. “We have communicated the determination in this matter to the appointing authority, the Sullivan County Legislature.”

When reached for comment, Chairman Doherty said, “It was an expected result. I know I didn’t do anything wrong … I never said those words. The Town [of Liberty] was demanding an apology. I’m wondering where my apology is.”

In response to the determination, Supervisor DeMayo said, “None of it was meant to be a character assassination of Mr. Doherty or anyone else. It was the incident I had an issue with and I will continue to stand behind the people that work for us and the Town of Liberty. We are not going to accept intimidation or bullying tactics as was perceived by the eyewitness accounts.”

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  • swhite747

    Just know that because there was insufficient evidence does not mean what these people were accused of didn't take place!!

    Tuesday, February 1 Report this