GLENS FALLS — Warren County’s public works superintendent pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge Friday as county supervisors were trying to work out a “separation” agreement with him to leave the county’s employ.
Jeffrey E. Tennyson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving while intoxicated in connection with a Jan. 28 arrest in Glens Falls in his personal vehicle.
He had been charged with aggravated DWI based on a blood alcohol content that was 0.24 percent, triple the 0.08 percent threshold for intoxication. Both charges are Class A misdemeanors, although the aggravated DWI count can bring higher fines.
Tennyson was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge, which requires him to remain arrest-free and complete certain requirements, was fined $500 and ordered to pay $395 in state surcharges. He also faces a mandatory driver’s license suspension, but could be granted a license to drive to and from work.
The case was prosecuted by the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office as a special prosecutor, as the Warren County District Attorney’s Office stepped away from the case because of its staff’s work relationship with Tennyson.
Glens Falls Police said Tennyson, 45, of Queensbury was pulled over after officers saw him drive into a curb on Broad Street at 2:23 a.m. that day.
Tennyson was initially suspended with pay, but after about a week the suspension was transitioned to one without pay, pending disciplinary action.
The county Board of Supervisors Personnel & Higher Education Committee discussed his situation in a closed-door executive session Thursday, with no action taken.
Acting county Administrator Kevin Geraghty said the county’s labor attorney has been discussing the matter with Tennyson’s lawyer, Peter Moschetti. He said it was unclear whether the arrest would cost Tennyson his job.
“Larry (Paltrowitz) is our labor attorney and has been working on it, talking with Mr. Moschetti,” he said.
Messages left on Tennyson’s cellphone and home phone and at Moschetti’s office have not been returned.
Assistant DPW Superintendent Kevin Hajos is overseeing the Department of Public Works in Tennyson’s absence.
Tennyson was appointed DPW superintendent in 2010, replacing William Lamy when he retired. He is an engineer who served as an assistant superintendent with Lamy and worked for the county since 2007.