Police sergeant pleads guilty to misconduct, retires

Saugerties Town Police Sergeant John Scheffel pled guilty to official misconduct, a misdemeanor May 19 in village court. The charges come as a result of an investigation into misappropriated items in the police evidence vault. Four packs of cigarettes were found to be missing from the vault.

Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright said his office believed Scheffel misappropriated these cigarettes, and falsified an evidence document in an attempt to cover up that crime. Scheffel was fined $100 and ordered to pay $205 in court fees. If he should be arrested again for any offense, he would reappear in village court, where increased penalties for the official misconduct charge could be imposed. The town has agreed to allow Scheffel to retire without bringing administrative charges against him. “In consideration of Scheffel’s retirement and waiver of the early retirement incentive, the town agrees that it will not file administrative charges pursuant to the provisions of Section 75 of the Civil Service Law or the collective bargaining agreement,” the agreement states.

Under the agreement, Scheffel will retire from the department no later than May 13. Scheffel filed his paperwork with the New York State Retirement System on April 14, and for the period between that date and his final retirement date of May 13 he is to use accrued vacation or holiday time – but not sick leave.

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If he still has vacation or holiday time accrued on May 13, he will be paid for that time, the agreement specifies.Under the agreement, the town will pay 60 percent of Scheffel’s health insurance premiums until he becomes eligible for Medicare. Scheffel also agrees to waive an early retirement incentive under which the town would pay 75 percent of his health insurance premiums.

The agreement covers all payments to which Scheffel may be entitled.The town was represented by attorney William A. Wallace and Scheffel was represented by Christine Caputo Granich in the negotiation of the retirement agreement. Scheffel was represented by Dennis B. Schlenker at the arraignment and sentencing.Scheffel has not returned calls to his home and Schlenker was unavailable for comment on Monday.

Additional reporting by Heather Plonchak

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