20 Search Results for Sheriff Garcia

Jun 25

2024

A purchase by the sheriff with limited value

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Erie County Sheriff John Garcia. Photo by Garrett Looker. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office plans to acquire equipment to detect whether motorists are under the influence of drugs, even though results aren’t admissible in court due to accuracy concerns.  The purchase of five SoToxa drug analyzers at a cost of $26,000 would be funded through a $2.9 million state grant approved unanimously last week by the county Legislature with no debate or discussion. The money also would pay for surveillance cameras, drones, license plate readers and mobile x-ray equipment designed to capture images of vehicles that would be deployed at[...]

Posted 4 weeks ago

Mar 5

2024

Lawsuit accuses Erie County Sheriff of stonewalling

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Erie County Sheriff John C. Garcia. Photo by Garrett Looker. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office is being sued for jail records. Again. The Partnership for the Public Good, which asked for records last May, filed suit in December after its request for documents for the downtown holding center and Alden lockup was refused. It’s the third time since 2018 that the sheriff’s office has been sued over jail records. In the two previous cases, courts ordered the sheriff’s office to provide requested documents.  “They don’t give up stuff they should give up,” said Nan Haynes, who sued the sheriff in[...]

Posted 5 months ago

Sep 20

2023

Erie County sheriff wants $10 million helicopter

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Erie County Sheriff John Garcia wants to double his department’s helicopter fleet with a new chopper that would cost more than $10 million. “It’s a matter of safety,” Undersheriff William Cooley told Investigative Post in justifying a new Airbus H135 helicopter that would take two years to build and outfit. “We see an absolute need for a new machine.” The sheriff’s office boasts that its current helicopter helps nab suspected car thieves and controls traffic at Buffalo Bills games.  The department says that its 22-year-old chopper, often grounded for maintenance and repairs, has saved lives. The department once considered replacing[...]

Posted 10 months ago

Jul 10

2024

More drama with jail advisory board

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Erie County Sheriff John Garcia. Photo by Garrett Looker. The Erie County Sheriff’s Department has pulled staff from meetings of a jail advisory board, citing the body’s inability to raise quorums and an adversarial tone from some members. The withdrawal came after Jerome Wright, a former inmate who’s been critical of the sheriff’s office, was elected chairman to the board that’s been tasked with reviewing jail deaths and operations. “This is a disingenuous attempt to go out like a punk instead of standing your ground,” said Wright, who has opposed the sheriff’s push for a new jail and says he[...]

Posted 2 weeks ago

May 29

2024

Jail advisory board makes some progress

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Erie County Holding Center. Photo by Garrett Looker. The Erie County Corrections Specialist Advisory Board made incremental progress Tuesday, mustering a quorum, barely, after failing to draw enough members to conduct business at its three previous monthly meetings. Six members of the 11-seat board were present, exactly the number needed for a quorum. The board took two actions, approving minutes of past meetings that could not previously be voted on due to lack of members and setting a June 11 date for a special meeting to select a chair, a vice chair and a secretary, positions that have been vacant[...]

Posted 2 months ago

May 15

2024

Who’s responsible for dysfunctional jail oversight board?

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Erie County Sheriff John Garcia. Photo by Garrett Looker. The Erie County Bar Association, the sheriff and the Legislature haven’t filled vacancies on a jail advisory board that hasn’t been able to conduct business for lack of a quorum. Meanwhile, prisoners are dying, prompting lawsuits and millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. Tasked with overseeing the jail and recommending improvements, the Corrections Specialist Advisory Board hasn’t been able to review jail deaths, consider plans for a new jail or even approve a 2023 annual report that remains in draft form. The 11-seat board, which has three vacancies, is supposed[...]

Posted 2 months ago

Apr 24

2024

Erie County jail advisory board stalled

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Between inmate deaths, lawsuits and plans for a new jail, there is plenty for the Erie County Corrections Specialist Advisory Board to consider. But the body tasked with overseeing the county’s two jails and making recommendations for programs and operations hasn’t been able to do anything for want of members at meetings. The board’s monthly meeting held Tuesday via Zoom was the third in a row where no action could be taken due to lack of quorum. No one was present from the sheriff’s office, which usually assigns someone to report on such matters as body cameras for guards and[...]

Posted 3 months ago

Apr 22

2024

State finds fault in Erie County jail death

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The Erie County Holding Center. Photo by Garrett Looker. The New York Commission of Correction has faulted medical care in the Erie County Holding Center and ordered the county Legislature to review the 2021 death of an inmate whose cancer went undiagnosed.  James Ellis, 58 and locked up for a parole violation, may have died no matter what, the commission found in a March 27 report. But someone should have called a doctor before he was found unresponsive and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Nov. 30, 2021. Ellis lost 15 pounds while incarcerated for nine[...]

Posted 3 months ago