SHERIFF OFFICE POLITICS. Three sergeants in the office of GreeneLand’s sheriff, Richard Hussey, have launched a court action in which they claim to be victims of “favoritism” and “abuse of discretion” in the matter of promotions. They are asking the State Supreme Court to annul a procedure whereby eligibility to take an examination in quest of promotion to sheriff’s lieutenant, at a salary of $51,480, was limited, illegally and/or arbitrarily and/or capriciously, to just one of the five men who otherwise would have been eligible to compete for the job.
The suing sergeants are Andrew J. Macko (father of The Daily Mail’s Andrea Macko), John M. Stegville and Steven J. Worth. Their action, a request for judicial intervention in the form of annulling the examination (given September 16th), is being handled, through the New York State Law Enforcement Officers Union, by Albany-based attorney Matthew P. Ryan (whose proof-reading skills need remediation).
The focal point of their complaint is a provision that was added by the county’s Civil Service Commission, at the behest of Sheriff Hussey, to the announcement of the coming lieutenant’s examination. The addition said “Due to some involvement with the Greene County Jail, basic training for Correctional Officer is required.” That proviso effectively limited eligibility to take the promotional examination to Sgt Tor Tryland. According to the filing of the protesting sergeants, the additional requirement was “arbitrary and capricious” in relation to the lieutenant’s tasks; framed “for the sole purpose of excluding all other eligible candidates,” it was a “pretext” designed to “ensure” that only Sergeant Tryland could (upon passing the exam, free of competition) get the promotion.
The special eligibility requirement, Sheriff Hussey says in response, was “altogether appropriate and reasonable”: the new lieutenant would be working inside as well as outside the jail; special technical training is essential for regulating inmates’ and others’ communications; Sergeant Tryland alone has the relevant training and experience.
In formal terms, according to some sources, the call for “basic training for Correctional Officer” amounts to a call for a training course that lasts three weeks.
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