For Sheriff, Son’s Investigation Not Over

For Sheriff, Son’s

Investigation Not Over

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – The County of Otsego’s investigation into Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr.’s
correctional officer son ended when Ros Devlin resigned from his father’s department.

But to the sheriff, it isn’t over.

Tuesday, Sept. 29, the sheriff announced a DVD from the investigation is missing, and he’s asked District Attorney John Muehl to investigate the matter.

In an interview, the sheriff said, separately, he’s also asking the county to amend the final report into his son’s case to remove material implicating his son which the father said is inaccurate.

The sheriff also said he’s been told the DVD ended up in the hands of someone outside the county.

“That raises the question of where it is, and can the county assure that it is secure and accounted for,” Devlin said.

The case against Ros – that he made threats against fellow officers, and to cause a disturbance at Oneonta and Milford schools – surfaced in the spring of 2017 and was settled by his resignation the following year.

According to County Attorney Ellen Coccoma, who was involved in the investigation, the Public Safety Committee “determined that they had returned everything. We have no reason to keep it,”

“Everything we received has been returned,” said Rep. Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, who chaired the PSLA in 2017. “We have no reason not to return the originals.”

County Board Chair David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, said he suggested to Devlin that, if the evidence couldn’t be found, to bring the matter to Muehl.

Muehl did indicate that he has plans to investigate the situation.

The final report of his son’s case, Devlin said in the interview, “included an incident that did not occur,” he said. “I asked them to correct it and put an amendment in the full report, which they did not do.”

The report said Inv. William Henn was present at an interview where one of Ros’ coworkers reported being “frightened about statements made by Ros Devlin at the jail, but feared retaliation.”

Henn wasn’t present at the interview, the sheriff said, and disputed the report of Undersheriff’s Allison’s participation as well.

“I was hoping the board would resolve these issues,” said Devlin. “But they didn’t.”

Ros resigned in December 2018, shortly after his father was re-elected as Sheriff.

“In my office, we have to account for every piece of evidence,” said Devlin. “If they can’t account for it, why can’t they?”

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