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Downtown Gouverneur. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/cbgb_hoser/">Tom Pavick</a> via Flickr, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
Downtown Gouverneur. Photo: Tom Pavick via Flickr, some rights reserved

Former Gouverneur mayor Chris Miller arrested

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St. Lawrence County Sheriff's investigators arrested former Gouverneur Mayor Christopher Miller Tuesday. The Watertown Daily Times reports he was charged with a felony count of third-degree grand larceny. Miller resigned from his position as mayor last Wednesday. The newspaper reports that he's accused of drawing up a fraudulent contract for the sale of a house he only partially owned.

He reportedly sold the house for $50,000, but allegedly failed to tell the people he sold it do that he was a joint owner. Deputies told the newspaper that Miller did not have the right to sell the property. The Times reports that the buyers gave Miller $10,000 as a down payment on the house, but a written agreement drawn up by Miller, gave them credit for only $1,000 dollars.

Miller was brought to the town court in Canton and was released under probation supervision. He resigned as mayor after a discussion last week with then deputy Mayor Ronald McDougall. McDougall read Miller's resignation letter at the village Board of Trustees meeting last night.

Julie Grant spoke with McDougall Wednesday morning, and asked him if he encouraged Miller to resign last week because he was about to be arrested.

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No I did not know an arrest was pending, but I did know that there was things being looked at by various law enforcement agencies.

So, you knew he was being investigated.

I knew people were looking into the situation, based on news reports, and other agencies and personnel in and around the Gouverneur area

The board of trustees officially accepted his resignation last night. They officially accepted your recommendaiotn for a deputy mayor, you’re now acting mayor…

Well, our counsel says I am the mayor, he’s researched that. And I am the mayor and I’ll be running for the unexpired term in the November election.

For people concerned about the affect Mr. Miller’s leadership on the finances of Gouverneur, is there any concern he may have mismanaged the village’s money?

There were safeguards put in place. He was not allowed to sign any check. For some time now I’ve been signing all vouchers and requisitions.

So finances are secure?

Yes, that’s our firm belief.

McDougall filed petitions with the St. Lawrence County board of elections yesterday, to get his name on the November ballot, as an independent candidate to run for Mayor. If elected, he would fill the last year of Miller’s unexpired term.

The County Board of Elections says the County Republican party also plans to run a candidate for village mayor. Republicans informed the elections board Tuesday that they plan a caucus, and intend to have the name of a candidate next month.

 

 

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