News & Notices

Immediate Press Release

Town of Highland Town Board
Eldred, NY
October 4, 2023
Constabulary Litigation Update

After the dissolution of the Constabulary, the Town and Councilwoman Kaitlin Haas were named in a
lawsuit alleging a variety of wrongdoings by Plaintiff Marc Anthony, venued in the Supreme Court of
Sullivan County. As a result of the request for damages, the Town’s insurance company, NYMIR,
provided for legal representation through the Orange County based firm Drake & Loeb, with partner Adam
L. Rodd assigned to the case. The Town and Councilwoman Haas are aggressively defending
themselves in the matter. As such, the entirety of the investigation, including allegations and the
Committee’s report and supporting documentation, were admitted to the Certified Public Record in
support of a Motion to Dismiss. The Board will not comment further on the ongoing litigation, but felt it
necessary to acknowledge that the details of the investigation are now public and accessible through the
Supreme Court of Sullivan County’s web filing database.
For background, the Town of Highland suspended the Constabulary in April of 2022. The Town has gone
to great lengths to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the investigation and reorganization, and has
not publicly released details, instead sharing updates through press releases and in public meetings
where appropriate. The decision was made, after much discussion and evaluation, to move on from the
Constables, a dated construct under the state statute that didn’t adequately support the modern law
enforcement needs of the Town, to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Sullivan County
Sheriff’s Office.
The Town is appreciative of the many years of service from the Constables to residents and visitors and
did not come to the decision lightly or quickly.
Under the MOU, the Sheriff’s Office provides a dedicated deputy to the Town on the same schedule and
with the same hours covered as the Constables provided peace officer services. The assigned deputies
are familiar with the Town, and have worked to develop a presence and connection to the
community. This MOU comes at not only a significant cost savings to the tax payer, but also provides
comprehensive law enforcement services with no liability to the Town. Sheriff’s Deputies, unlike
Constables (who are classified as peace officers) are subject to all of the requirements of the Police
Reform Act of 2020 and have mandated ongoing and annual trainings. Because there are ranks
established within the Sheriff’s Office, there is a clear hierarchy of supervision and management that does
not fall on the Town Board. Undersheriff Eric Chaboty gave an overview of the Highland Patrol at the
August 2023 Town Board meeting, providing insight and detail into the enforcement activity, scheduled
hours covered, and overall status of the Town.
We continue to prioritize the safety of the Town, its residents, and its many visitors