Warren County Sheriff Bud York said he does not plan to replace his second-in-command, Undersheriff Shawn Lamouree, when Lamouree leaves the department for a job in the private sector in the coming weeks.
York said he plans to leave the position vacant for the remaining months of his term. Under the department’s chain of command, sheriff’s Maj. Jim LaFarr, who is their heir apparent to the sheriff position come Jan. 1, is the next in line when the undersheriff is not available.
LaFarr will be able to assume some of the administrative duties as he learns the ropes of the sheriff post, York said.
County Administrator Ryan Moore said County Law in New York does not require a sheriff to have an undersheriff. A sheriff is required to appoint one within 10 days of taking office, but the law does not specify the position be filled if it becomes vacant during the sheriff’s term, Moore explained.
The transition to a new sheriff in Warren County began in earnest this week, as Lafarr is all but certain of election come Nov. 5 in light of Lamouree’s decision announced last week to halt his campaign.
York said he and Lamouree plan to work with LaFarr to show him how the agency’s budget is put together as county departments head into the 2020 budget season.
“The big thing is the budget. We’ll make sure to show Jimmy how to do everything,” York said.
He said the transition will go more smoothly than when he took office 12 years ago and was not allowed to come in ahead of time to get the lay of the land.
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“If I figured it out, Jimmy can,” he said.
LaFarr has met with Moore and District Attorney Jason Carusone in recent days as he prepares to take office, and he plans to attend upcoming county Board of Supervisors meetings.
He said he has also been meeting with members of the Sheriff’s Office to “put everyone at ease” about the change in sheriff.
If York does see fit to appoint an undersheriff to replace Lamouree, LaFarr said he would like to see the man he chose as his undersheriff, former sheriff’s Investigator Terry Comeau, appointed to the post. Comeau will become undersheriff when LaFarr is sworn in on Jan. 1 otherwise.
“That would be a great opportunity for the county, for him to be in the position for a third of a year before the transition,” LaFarr said.
LaFarr said he personally would not accept the post because he did not want to lose civil service protection that is afforded by his major position, but not the undersheriff position.
Lamouree is planning to leave the Sheriff’s Office by early September. He has been with the agency since 1988 and has been undersheriff since 2012. He is taking a position as vice president of Capital Gun Group of Albany, which runs gun shops in New York and Vermont and a shooting range in Queensbury.
Lamouree will still be on the ballot in November despite halting his campaign, but on the Independence Party Line only. LaFarr will have the Republican and Conservative lines.