Granby councilor accused of election-related crimes stays on; Counterman resigns

Granby councilor Cheryl Holmes makes notes during the Granby Town Board meeting Wednesday.

GRANBY — While Granby is looking to fill one vacancy on its town board, another councilor remains on the job despite being charged with a series of election-related crimes.

The Granby Town Board announced at its meeting Wednesday that councilor Brett Counterman had resigned. Counterman was re-elected to the position in November.

“His resignation letter says he sold his property in the town,” Town Supervisor John Snow Jr. told The Palladium-Times after the meeting. “That’s what we know.”

The board voted 4-0 in favor of advertising the position and accepting letters of intent to replace Counterman. An applicant would need three affirmative votes to take the position.

“I think the letter of intent needs to say why you’d like to be appointed, what type of experience you have to bring to the board and why are you passionate about it,” Snow said. “The board needs to take a look at those and talk to the people.”

Councilor Cheryl Holmes, also re-elected in November for another two-year term, was at the meeting Wednesday.

Holmes and her husband Leslie Holmes, the former Granby Republican Committee chairman, were charged in December with a series of election-related crimes for allegedly submitting improper political petitions that contained forged signatures — including some of deceased individuals — back in 2018.

Cheryl Holmes had no comment on the matter Wednesday.

The Holmeses were under investigation for more than a year, and a 19-count indictment from an Oswego County grand jury was filed on Dec. 19. The couple were arraigned last month and released on their own recognizance after entering not guilty pleas, according to court records.

The Holmeses are scheduled to return to court Jan. 21.

State police charged Leslie Holmes with seven counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument, a class D felony; one count of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing with intent to defraud, a class E felony; four counts of making punishable false written statement, a class A misdemeanor; four counts of misconduct in relation to election petitions, an unclassified misdemeanor; and one count of primary election violations, an unclassified misdemeanor.

Cheryl Holmes is facing one count of first-degree offering a fake instrument for filing with intent to defraud, making a punishable false written statement, misconduct in relation to election petitions, and primary election violations.

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