BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs says he has proof that the mistaken gun seizure and suspension of an Amherst librarian's pistol permit was the fault of State Police.
Jacobs is speaking freely about the pistol permit mixup because the legal team for David Lewis went to court and a state judge ordered the clerk's office to turn over the documents Jacobs received from State Police.
"We expect that it will implicate the State Police," said Lewis' attorney Jim Tresmond.
Tresmond believes the correspondence from State Police to the Erie County Clerk's Office advises county officials David Lewis, a pistol permit holder from Amherst, might also be the person who has been found to be a danger to himself or others on mental health grounds.
"That shows that the State Police, they did their due diligence - according to what their standards are - and their due diligence was absolutely wrong, and their due diligence was incompetent," Tresmond said.
Lewis' attorney took the order to the clerks' office and the documents were released, showing State Police advised the clerk a person named David Lewis was a permit holder and a David Lewis had been found to be a danger.
Legal assistant Max Tresmond said, "They gave the county clerk a date of birth, a signed copy of the pistol permit, his signature, his pistol permit application, his residence, and the fact that Mr. Lewis had been treated for mental health issues."
State Police have been deflecting the blame onto the clerk's office, saying Jacobs and his team did not do their role to investigate the recommendation.
But Jacobs, who is receiving support from county clerks across the state, says what State Police seem to be expecting from county officials is not their job.
"There was nothing for us to investigate," Jacobs said. "This was a specific person they sent to us, to act on. The judge did his job. The problem is, we don't know how this happened, but that is the state's question to answer."
David Lewis of Amherst does have a mental health history but is not considered dangerous. And though Lewis in Amherst has a pistol permit, the mentally disturbed David Lewis authorities were looking for doesn't have a gun license.
Tresmond says they are now preparing to sue the state for embarrassing Lewis, the Amherst librarian.
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