LIVINGSTON COUNTY — Recent changes in the Hatch Act are shaping a potential Livingston County Sheriffs race.
Under the Hatch Act as it previously stood, if a public employee’s department received any federal funding they could not continue to be employed while seeking office. The modifications now require a candidate to resign while seeking office only if they are 100 percent federally funded.
Currently, the only person to announce his candidacy for Sheriff is Investigator Thomas Dougherty. Many speculate that current Sheriff York, who has not yet publicly announced his intentions, will not seek re-election and that he will instead support his Undersheriff, James Szczesniak, who might announce that he is running before the end of the month.
The changes in the Hatch Act, which take effect Jan 27, would allow Undersheriff Szczesniak, if he desires, to seek the office while continuing to serve as the Undersheriff. Investigator Dougherty would conntinue in his positionas well.
Last year, former First Assistant District Attorney Eric Schiener, who campaigned for District Attorney under the previous version of the Hatch Act, was forced to resign in order to run. If the new regulations were in place he would have been able to continue to campaign and work at the D.A.’s office.