Third Lawsuit In Recent Months Filed Against Putnam County, Sheriff Smith, Alleges Illegal Search and Seizure

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Linda D. Nelson Charges Sheriff's Department with Malicious Prosecution, Withholding of Evidence and Perjury

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but it is another lawsuit in which the citizens of Putnam County will have to pay for with our taxes. First, we will pay for Putnam County's lawyers and, if the jury orders, the plaintiff's lawyers, plus any compensatory damages.

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A third lawsuit naming Putnam County and Sheriff Donald B. Smith has been filed and is underway in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York (7:09-cv-00911-CS). Sheriff's Deputy Barbara Dunn is also one of the defendants in this case.

In a separate indictment brought by Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy, Deputy Dunn is accused of larceny and perjury. This case is in its preliminary phase.

Deputy Dunn was knowingly allowed by Sheriff Smith to serve as President of the Putnam Humane Society, contrary to the ethics and conflict of interest regulations of Putnam County. Sheriff's Deputy Dunn's assignments pursuing cases against pet owners was also a conflict of interest, but was authorized by Don Smith.

Linda Dezan Nelson is suing for ''…compensatory and punitive damages in connection with defendants' illegal, unauthorized, non-consensual and warrantless search, malicious prosecution…withholding of evidence and perjury by Sheriff's Department personnel…'' Plaintiff Nelson has requested a jury trial.

''This additional lawsuit -- the third in recent months -- is not only embarrassing to hardworking deputies,'' explained Kevin McConville, candidate for Sheriff of Putnam County, "but it is another lawsuit in which the citizens of Putnam County will have to pay for with our taxes. First, we will pay for Putnam County's lawyers and, if the jury orders, the plaintiff's lawyers, plus any compensatory damages."

In earlier cases, the Karen Meltz' lawsuit (7:2007cv09708) was settled September 15 "out of court" with damage amounts undisclosed. Last week, the Spencer Sinkov suicide case (7:2007cv02866) was settled and the amount of damages will be disclosed later when Putnam County's Legislators vote on the compensatory amount in public session.

A part of the Sinkov case against Americor, Inc., was handled in a Delaware jury trial. There, Donny Sinkov, Spencer's father, was given compensatory damages of $265,000. Americor provided medical services to jail inmates at the time of the suicide -- and still does -- and was found 35% responsible for the suicide.

About Kevin McConville
Kevin McConville has 29 years of experience in law enforcement. He rose through the ranks of the MTA Police Department, from police officer to detective to captain and was promoted to Chief in 2005. He retired in January 2008. McConville has served on the Board of Governors of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police and is active in the organization as a retired chief. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and a Master's degree in Public Administration from Marist College. McConville is a lifelong resident of Putnam County and resides with his wife and three children in Cold Spring, NY.

In His Campaign for Sheriff, McConville Won These Endorsements:
New York State Chiefs of Police Association
New York State Police Investigators Association
AFL-CIO's Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body
Association of Commuter Rail Employees (ACRE)

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Natasha Bullard
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