To the editor,
At the Oswego County Legislature meeting on Thursday Aug. 13, I tried to present the following presentation regarding Oswego County Sheriff Don Hilton. I was cut off half way through this presentation when Legislature leadership informed me that my 5-minute time limit had expired. Many times in the past, when I served on the legislature, there were times when during the public comment session speakers would go over their time. Because this was an issue showing an embarrassment to the Legislature, they held me and others that spoke about this issue strictly to 5 minutes. This presentation isn’t anything more than a statement of facts and my opinion.
On the official Oswego County web site there is listed the mission statement of the Oswego County Legislature, the mission statement of the Oswego County Administrator and oath of office every elected official takes.
Nowhere does it say that any elected official owes allegiance to any one person or party. Which means elected officials represent the people, not the party.
It does say any and all elected officials are bound by law to uphold any and all laws and uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New York.
No one in these chambers or outside have a right to stop any one persons’ ability to support any single political candidate or party.
No one in this legislative body has the authority to be judge, jury and executioner. Lady Justice is blindfolded for a reason. Let Lady Justice do her job.
This issue at hand isn’t about support of the men and women in blue or not supporting the men and women in blue. It’s all about the law.
This issue is whether or not public property was misused and any laws were broken.
In my six years serving on the county Legislature Public Safety Committee, my disagreements were mainly on the number of patrol cars to be purchased each year. One year, I even made a motion to give Sheriff Reuel Todd a pay raise. I say this to show that I support the sheriff in many ways.
One main issue I have had with Sheriff Don Hilton was his recommendation to hire school resource officers that would live outside Oswego County.
Again: I say this to show that on many issues I support the sheriff and the men and women in blue.
I support Sheriff Hilton but I don’t support his actions on Aug. 2, 2020.
We are talking about the law and the law only right now.
Nobody is above the law.
It is not the county Legislature’s job to determine if the sheriff broke any laws. They may determine if he has broken any Oswego County policies and only determine the course of action to be taken on those infractions.
This legislative body has an obligation to the taxpayers of Oswego County to ensure an investigation is performed by a bipartisan panel — none of which should be from Oswego County.
No one in this legislature or the public can determine the guilt or innocence of an elected official.
Because of that reason and the fact that I have been a witness to the kangaroo court held by this legislative body in executive sessions, a letter should be sent to the New York Attorney General’s office requesting a complete investigation be performed to determine if any laws were broken by the sheriff and his deputies on the date in question. Also a letter should be sent to the state Comptroller’s office for the main purpose to find out if there was misuse of taxpayers’ dollars and assets.
Last but not least, it’s about the law, it is not about support or non-support of the men and women in blue.
Good day to you all and stay safe.
Frank Castiglia Jr.