Ariél Zangla reports in The Daily Freeman
that three Kingston clergymen are accusing the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office of systemic corruption and racism under Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum. The Rev. Frank Alagna of Holy Cross/Santa Cruz Episcopal Church, the Rev. Jim Childs of Pointe of Praise Church, and the Rev. G. Modele Clarke of New Progressive Baptist Church wrote a letter to the editor with the accusations after meeting with three Ulster County corrections officers who filed a federal anti-discrimination lawsuit against two of their superior officers and the sheriff. Ulster County Corrections Officers Norman L. James, Tyrone Brodhead, Alphonso A. Lacey, and Pamela Lancaster, and former Corrections Officer Timothy Ross, filed a suit last year against the county alleging that five black officers were kept from job advancement while their white counterparts were promoted. Sheriff VanBlarcum said he can not comment on the pending litigation. “It’s a shame they would write that [letter] not knowing anything about the case,” the sheriff said. The ministers also claimed bias. “Sheriff VanBlarcum has been quite vocal about the need to strictly adhere to the law when it comes to civil infractions by our undocumented neighbors,” the letter states. “But he does no more than pay lip service to the law when his white officers are involved.” VanBlarcum said he welcomes any investigations into his office's conduct. “My doors are always open,” he said. Read the full story in The Daily Freeman.