Well-Wishers Fill Courtroom #1
For Seward, Devlin Swearings-In
Sheriff Recalls Judge’s Prediction Of Heroin Scourge, Vows To Fight On
COOPERSTOWN – Four years ago today in Courtroom #1, Otsego County Judge Brian Burns issued the first alarm to an astonished crowd: He expected heroin would be the biggest scourge the judicial system would face during his term.
Today, Judge Burns swore in county Sheriff Richard J. Devlin for a third term, and the lawman ruefully recalled the jurist’s prediction, which proved too true, to the anguish of many local families and the concern of the citizenry at large.
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But he made clear law enforcement isn’t passively accepting heroin in our midst. “The sheriff’s office has had some of the largest drutg wseizures and major drug cases that this county has ever seen,” he said. “…I am fighting and using every means available to rid our communities of this toxin.
“I am communicating a clear message to the dealers and suppliers, conveying that, ‘if you bring your poison into our communities, we will find you. We will arrest you And the DA will vigorously prosecutre you. Our judsges will sentence you to lengthy preson terms. And, more important, you are not welcome here.'”
In the 15th swearing in of state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, which followed, the senator said “New York State has a lot going for it.”
He reminded the courtroom, filled with wellwishers, of four on-time state budgets, elimination of the $10 billion deficit, the lowest tax burden on middle-class families in 60 years, and funding and programs for infrastructure and schools.
But, pointing out the recent report that New York State has moved from third to fourth in population – after California, Texas and now Florida – he vowed more will be done “to allow our young people to stay right her in this beautiful slice of New York State.”
He also pointed out he took the oath on a Bible his mother Vivian had given him for Christmas in 1962, and he expressed satisfaction that his second granddaughter, baby Vivian, was in the audience for the first time.