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Cairo Police Chief arrested
CAIRO -- State Police arrested Cairo’s
police chief Thursday for tampering with public records, tampering with
physical evidence, tampering with a witness and falsely reporting an incident.
Christopher Sprague, 48, has served as the town’s chief and animal control
officer since 2006.
“At this point I'm shocked. I've known Chris for many, many years. I’ve always liked him, I’ve always gotten along very well with him and I'm very surprised this occurred,” said Town Board member Ray Suttmeier.
State Police said Sprague made a false report to them on Wednesday and arrested him after an investigation the following day. State Police referred questions about the report to the Greene County District Attorney’s office, which declined to comment or provide court records.
The town board called an emergency meeting Friday afternoon to discuss Sprague’s arrest. It immediately went into a closed-door executive session and emerged 20 minutes later with several resolutions to suspend Sprague indefinitely without pay.
Sprague earns $20,000 a year as chief, which is a part-time position. He also earns $1,000 a year for his animal control work.
“I think it's a due course of action. Since the matter is under an arraignment, there was an arrest made, there are charges pending, it would be inappropriate for him to conduct business as the police chief of Cairo,” said Town Supervisor Ted Banta III.
Cairo officials said they did not know specific details about the false report, but did not believe it would jeopardize other cases or investigations. The board appointed its only full-time officer, Sgt. Richard Bush, as the town’s Officer in Charge until the case against Sprague is settled. Sprague also works full-time as a patrolman with the Village of Catskill and was placed on administrative leave.
“It's shocking to us, it’s
shocking to the town as well,” said Banta. “In some ways Chris is a colleague
and friend as well.”
Sprague did not answer his door Friday morning. He is expected in court on April 2.