10:19pm

Tue December 3, 2013
Regional Coverage

Clayton supervisor fingered in Inspector General's report for misusing state vehicle

An Inspector General's report finds that Clayton's town supervisor is among dozens of current and former state prison officials who misused their work-issued vehicles at taxpayer expense. 

The report says 80 members of the Corrections Department leadership used their state vehicles mostly to commute to and from work for years. They did so with the blessing of former department Commissioner Brian Fischer. He continued to approve the practice long after a 2009 state policy shift meant to rein in such excesses.

The officials supposedly needed the vehicles to respond to emergencies, but the investigations showed that almost never happened.

Clayton Town Supervisor Justin Taylor ran the Gouverneur Correctional Facility until 2011. The Inspector General's office got a complaint about his vehicle use in 2009, soon followed by a complaint about another prison chief. That sparked the system-wide review.

The report says the Corrections Department has stopped issuing vehicles to its leadership, forced employees who had cars to return them, and bolstered its oversight of vehicle and gasoline credit card use.

Taylor told the Watertown Daily Times he would respond to the report before Clayton's Town Council later this week.