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No decision yet for future of Lewis County trail coordinator

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LOWVILLE — An hour and 40 minutes wasn’t enough time Monday for Lewis County Legislators to agree on the future of suspended recreational trail coordinator Robert C. Diehl.

The Board will continue their executive session Friday at 4 p.m., as requested by Chairman Michael A. Tabolt, R-Croghan, “to resume discussion regarding the trail coordinator.”

Mr. Diehl was suspended Nov. 13 following allegations that he submitted a purchase order and voucher to the county for $3,262.97 worth of stone products purchased from V.S. Virkler & Son and delivered for use at his personal residence.

During an administrative hearing Dec. 26, held by retired state Supreme Court Judge John S. Parker, Mr. Diehl admitted to submitting the documents, but said the action was done in error.

Legislators are expected to discuss the 206-page hearing transcript and Judge Parker’s findings, which recommended the county reprimand Mr. Diehl and suspend him without pay for 60 days, finding him not guilty of gross negligence, but guilty of incompetence, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.

The recommendation acknowledges Mr. Diehl served the first 30 days of his suspension without pay at which time, as a civil service employee, pay was reinstated.

A criminal case is pending. Mr. Diehl is charged with third-degree grand larceny, first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and official misconduct. He has not yet appeared in Lewis County Court.

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