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Monticello leaders indicted on charges of coercion and official misconduct

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Albany/HV: Monticello leaders indicted on charges of coercion and official misconduct
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Top officials in the village of Monticello are now facing jail time for their involvement in trying to land someone a job as a village police officer. Our Christian Farrell has the story.

MONTICELLO, N.Y. -- There are job openings inside Monticello Village Hall. The most recent position becoming available is deputy mayor. Monticello Mayor Gordon Jenkins dismissed Deputy Mayor T.C. Hutchins from his post on Friday after learning of Hutchins' arrest on charges of coercion and official misconduct. Arrested with Hutchins was former village manager John LiGreci who lost his job last month.

"The deputy mayor abused his position as deputy mayor. It doesn't mean because he's been appointed as the Deputy Mayor that he has all of these powers," said Monticello Village Trustee Carmen Rue.

Authorities say Hutchins and LiGreci were involved in a plot with Kariem McCline to get McCline hired as a police officer in the village. According to a 13 count indictment, Hutchins and LiGreci went to great lengths to get McCline the job.

Such lengths included ordering former Police Chief Doug Solomon from finishing a background check on McCline. McCline allegedly lied on the police application about having a prior criminal record for selling illegal drugs. The former village manager is also accused of paying a psychiatrist $2,700 using unauthorized village money for McCline's psychological police exam. That is a payment LiGreci is accused of trying to cover up by declaring it part of the village police budget for repairs and training.

"It kind of takes you back as to what you are supposed to do as an elected official because we all have different ideas," said Rue.

Hutchins and LiGreci could face up to seven years in jail if convicted of the most serious charge. Meanwhile, Jenkins said a decision on a new deputy village mayor will be made soon.

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