BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The group representing New York's county clerks is now saying the Superintendent of State Police has it all wrong, throwing Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs "under the bus" in a pistol permit fiasco that saw an Amherst man's guns wrongly seized.
In fact, the spokesperson for the clerks says Superintendent Joseph D'Amico seems to be showing his ignorance in this controversy.
Superintendent D'Amico came to town Monday and blamed Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs for David Lewis of Amherst being ordered to surrender his pistol permit and his guns, then finding out it was all a case of mistaken identity.
"And then the county's job is to look at it, determine if it is, in fact, their licensee, whether they want to take some sort of action. I don't recommend the removals. I can't do suspensions or revocations, that's a county function. They issue the permits, they remove the permits," D'Amico stated.
To that, the New York State Association of County Clerks issued a terse statement saying, D'Amico was either misreported or shows his ignorance regarding the pistol permit process and the role of county clerks in it.
Cortland County Clerk Elizabeth Larkin, who is also president of the state association says, by attacking Jacobs, the State Police are demeaning all county clerks.
"The County Clerk has no investigatory authority whatsoever. It is not our job to do investigations. We are keepers of the record - public information officers - but we do not do investigatory work at all," Larkin said.
And State Police not only faulted Jacobs and Erie County for the mistake, they also faulted officials in Orange County who took away the guns of another David Lewis - also an error.
Jacobs said, "It was just an inaccurate statement, and I think he really needs to come back and clarify that he is in the wrong here, and that the role - the investigative role - is up at the state level."
If you think the clerks association was "shooting from hip" when they issued that statement, the president of the group says they even discussed the D'Amico's claims with the Governor's office before they put out that release.
There was talk that the State Police Superintendent was misquoted but the press office never offered a clarification.
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