Internal Livingston County Sheriff’s Department emails, obtained by the GeneseeSun.com from a source who shared them on condition of anonymity, reveal that administrators in the Livingston County Jail knew about widespread shift swapping among full- and part-time deputies and, specifically, about illegal “pay to work” practices, well before the current investigation was first launched in December 2012.
The material received by the GeneseeSun.com includes 13 different email messages spanning a 4-year period that, together, make it clear that jail administrators were aware of “pay to work” practices as early as 2009, by which time the messages suggest the practice was already well established.
One message, from Sgt. Don Lubanski dated November 24, 2009, sent to then Deputy Sheriff and now Corporal Lawrence Kennedy, with copies to six other jail personnel, is apparently part of an ongoing email conversation, with the subject line “Re: Pay for work.” In it Lubanski says, “…lets [sic] not abuse this any further and chance losing a good thing. If you get scheduled by the Major, Myself, or one of the Supervisor’s [sic] this takes priority and other arrangements must be made for any favors.”
Another key message, dated October 16 2012, again from Lubanski, is addressed to All STAFF and sent to two distribution lists, LCSO Jail and LCSO Jail Supervisors, just two months before the story broke. The message says “It was brought to our attention once again [emphasis added] that we have staff paying other staff to work their scheduled hours of duty.” The message goes on to instruct the recipients that the practice must cease.
McCaffrey asserted in a press conference on Monday that while informal shift swapping per se was not illegal, the “pay for work” practice of one deputy paying another to do so was criminal. He also claimed that there was no documentary evidence of the latter practice, and that deputies who were involved would not cooperate with the investigation.
Nine deputies resigned in recent weeks over the scandal. Eight were arraigned in Livingston County Court on Monday. Seven of those were given conditional discharges and a $125 court surcharge. One still faces misdemeanor charges, but according to D.A. McCaffrey, will not face any jail time.
Additional reporting by Mike Williams