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The timeline of a troubled Sheriff’s Department


Timeline of tumult at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department:

April 16, 2012: Deputy Krystal G. Rice files a $50 million lawsuit against the department, claiming a male detective took topless photos of her for use in an online pedophile investigation. The photos disappeared with no way of knowing how the photos were used or who viewed them, Deputy Rice claims. Named in the lawsuit were Sheriff John P. Burns, Lt. Michael S. Peterson and Detective Steven C. Cote.

Aug. 23, 2012: Raven C. Carreira, 26, Watertown, files a defamation lawsuit in state Supreme Court against Detective Steven C. Cote, claiming that Mr. Cote told a third party that Miss Carreira had “put a threat out” against her former boyfriend, James J. Randall, also a sheriff’s deputy.

August 2012: Deputy James J. Randall suspended for 60 days after Mr. Burns learned he was involved in a relationship with Miss Carreira, a convicted felon.

Oct. 24, 2012: Michele R. Bowens, 42 Adams Center, files a notice of claim indicating that she is planning to file a $1 million lawsuit against the department, claiming that Undersheriff Andrew R. Neff sent her unwanted photos of a man’s genitals from his county-issued phone. Mr. Neff is suspended with pay.

Nov. 12, 2012: Mr. Burns announces that state police are investigating Ms. Bowens’s allegations against Mr. Neff.

Nov. 14, 2012: Raven C. Carreira is resentenced to one to three years in prison on a felony aggravated driving-while-intoxicated conviction after she violated probation.

Nov. 26, 2012: State Supreme Court Justice James P. McClusky dismisses Miss Carreira’s claim against Detective Cote for being filed too late. Judge McClusky also dismisses several of the claims made by Deputy Rice against Detective Cote for being filed too late. The sole remaining claim in Deputy Rice’s lawsuit is breach of contract.

Dec. 1, 2012: The incident that galvanized the legislature into action. Deputy Adam B. Hallett was discovered off to the side of a road in the town of Henderson, slumped over thesteering wheel of his patrol vehicle, with his dog inside and an open bottle of liquor in the center console, several hours after he went off duty. The deputy who responded to the scene, believed to be Matthew A. Vaughn, threw the liquor bottle into a nearby field, according to reports written by Mr. Burns and County Attorney David J. Paulsen.

Dec. 6, 2012: Mark H. Kellogg, 45, Adams, a 20-year veteran corrections officer, was charged by state police with third-degree assault in connection with a fight early on the morning of Dec. 2 in the Dragon Lord Pub, Adams Center.

Dec. 19, 2012:Sheriff John P. Burns says he will personally investigate the incident involving Deputy Hallett, promising an outcome that would be “nothing less than would have occurred with any other citizen of Jefferson County.”

Jan. 14, 2013: Tammy Hitchman, a nurse at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building, quit her job at the jail after questions were raised about her accessing non-inmate confidential medical records at Samaritan Medical Center.

Jan. 23: Reports about the Deputy Hallett incident by both Mr. Burns and County Attorney David J. Paulsen are released to the media.

Jan. 29: The Jefferson County Board of Legislators calls on the Public Integrity Bureau of the state attorney general’s office to investigate the Sheriff’s Department.

Feb 8: Undersheriff Andrew R. Neff retires from the Sheriff’s Department. A state police investigation into his actions continues.

March 5: County advised it has the power to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the department.

March 12: Michele R. Bowens sentenced to concurrent 1- to 3-year prison terms for Jan. 25 convictions of second-degree attempted forgery and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

March 28: The state Attorney General’s Office releases policy recommendations to Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

April 23: Oneida County District Attorney Scott D. McNamara appointed special prosecutor in the Hallett case after the board resolves to seek an external investigation.

June 11: Jefferson County Board of Legislators summarily uninvited from Undersheriff Neff’s retirement party after invitations were sent to them by accident.

Sept. 16: Janice M. O’Dell, Ellisburg, a suspended corrections officer at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building, files a $9 million federal job discrimination lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Syracuse, claiming that male co-workers sent her unwanted pictures of male genitals and that she was charged with a crime after complaining about alleged disparate treatment between male and female guards.

Sept. 28: William J. Simpson, Henderson, a corrections officer at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building, was charged by state police with second-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. Mr. Simpson was accused of throwing an ax at his girlfriend, according to state police. Mr. Simpson, who was suspended without pay pending further disciplinary action, has been working at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building since November 2006, when he was hired as a corrections officer.

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