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NY clerk gave out free snowmobile registrations

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York's inspector general says an upstate county clerk issued free snowmobile registrations to local snowmobile clubs -- including a group he participated in.
  
Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott's office said Friday that Fulton County Clerk William Eschler improperly gave the snowmobile clubs government registrations to avoid the required $45 registration fee.
  
The inspector general's office calls the practice inappropriate and says it resulted in $10,000 worth of fees going uncollected between 2004 and 2012. The office says Eschler testified that he believed the clubs qualified for government registrations.
  
The clubs receive state funding for trail maintenance, but must register any club-owned snowmobiles as private vehicles.
  
Eschler retired last year. Attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.
  
AP-WF-08-08-14 0703GMT
 
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