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DEC investigates hunting mishap involving Greene sheriff's officer

Nov 30, 2010 9:43 am
CATSKILL - Colin DeVries in The Daily Mail today catches up with a report that first was mentioned in the Greenville Pioneer -- that state Department of Environmental Conservation officials are continuing their investigation into a sheriff’s officer who allegedly shot at a Cairo man multiple times on hunting season’s opening day.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation said Monday investigators are looking into potential violations connected with Greene County Jail Lt. Kenneth Leis, who was reported to have fired multiple shots at a fellow hunter.

The hunter, Robert Warrings of Round Top, was allegedly shot at while tracking a bear he had recently hit around 10 a.m. on Nov. 20, said DEC spokeswoman Maureen Wren.

Warrings reported to investigators that bullets “whizzed by his head” and that a bullet went through his backpack, said Wren.

Warrings also told investigators he had confronted Leis following the incident. Leis told Warrings he was aiming at a fisher nearby, Wren said last week.

Last Monday, DEC investigators reported they had not yet located Leis.

Wren said Monday that Leis has not been formally charged in the incident but an investigation is ongoing.

Wren could not comment further on the details — whether DEC officers had confronted Leis about the incident, or what firearm information was being used in their investigation — due to the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation.

Greene County Sheriff Greg Seeley, who is in charge of the county jail, said Monday he had discussed the incident with Leis and was awaiting the conclusion of the DEC investigation.

Seeley stressed that Leis did not violate any policies or procedures of the sheriff’s office and he was not being disciplined or reprimanded at this time.

“This was strictly a hunting incident and no criminal intent was involved,” he said.

Seeley said he was eager to see what the DEC investigation concludes.

He also wanted to remind local hunters to be careful in the forests of Greene County and be vigilant before discharging firearms.

Leis, who was promoted to jail lieutenant about five months ago, Seeley said, did not return calls made to his home Monday afternoon.
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