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Interview: Sheriff Tony Desmond

Written By Editor on 9/25/13 | 9/25/13

Sheriff Tony Desmond's law enforcement career began in 1967 as a road patrol officer: the lone State Trooper in Schoharie County, covering a jurisdiction of 626 square miles, and after serving one four-year term that saw both his department and jurisdiction devastated by Hurricane Irene, he's standing before the voters in hopes of securing a second term.

This time on the Republican line.

But it wasn't always that way. Desmond, who was first elected four years ago on the Democratic, Conservative and Independent lines, started our conversation by stressing he was "never a Democrat,"  and that in 2009, he "didn't want to try and get the Republican nomination and get knocked down," because two candidates had already declared and that he simply re-registered as an Independent. Today, he is again a registered Republican.

However, the politics behind Desmond's blurred political lines appeared to be the least of his concerns moving forward.

Photo Compliments of Desmond's Campaign Site

The Issues
Sheriff Desmond's first priority for a possible second term is to "get a public safety building and jail back in this county," which he hopes FEMA makes a decision on. He added that his department and FEMA have "good relations," something that was evident when the Sheriff's office was able to avoid laying off correctional officers by having them patrol and secure the FEMA trailers that were housed at Guilford Mills.

The Sheriff also wants to work with the County Board of Supervisors, of which he was previously a Republican member of from the Town of Sharon Springs, to hire another 9-1-1 dispatcher and road patrol deputy, stating that right now there are not "enough people to go around."

The Candidates

When asked for his opinion of his two opponents this fall: Cobleskill Police Chief Larry Travis and Deputy Sheriff Todd Ethington, Sheriff Desmond commented that both are "good men," and that they "have the desire to be sheriff of this county," even going so far as to call Chief Travis a gentlemen, although he wasn't so kind of his subordinate - saying "I don't know about his experience," dismissing his position as a road patrol officer.


Of course no conversation would be complete without a discussion of the infamous NY SAFE Act, which Sheriff Desmond reminded me that he is "still opposed to" and that he believes was put in place to "override the second amendment." In another interview he has said that he had no intention of enforcing the law.

In conclusion

After sitting down with Sheriff Desmond for roughly an hour, I can tell he still has the fight in him to protect and serve Schoharie County residents, reminding me as our conversation neared its end that if anyone has objections with his department to take it out on him... and him alone... and not the deputies who serve these great communities.
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Administrator said...

In an interview published in the Daily Star on September 7th ( Tony Desmond said he has no intention of enforcing the law, and that his office won’t do anything that would cause law-abiding citizens to turn in their weapons or arrest them for possessing firearms.

“I’m not going back on my personal conviction,” he said. Residents have told him this is what they want, he said, and “I’ve stood up for them, and I will continue to do so.”

So, if local law-abiding citizens tell Sheriff Desmond that they want to use and grow marijuana will he stand up for them?

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