Schenectady County

No further probe after jail guards resign

Sheriff won't release names of those who resigned
Former correction officer David Garhartt leaves Rotterdam Town Court Thursday, after being arraigned on drug possession charges.
Former correction officer David Garhartt leaves Rotterdam Town Court Thursday, after being arraigned on drug possession charges.

SCHENECTADY COUNTY — The resignations of four Schenectady County Jail correction officers in the wake of a state police investigation that linked them to marijuana use hasn’t sparked further investigation of their conduct at the jail, authorities said Friday.

Sheriff Dominic Dagostino said he wasn’t aware of any issues with drugs inside the jail, where the four departed officers worked until this week.

“We dealt with what was in front of us, and that’s it,” Dagostino said.

The names of the officers have not been disclosed, and Dagostino on Friday again refused to identify them.

“Since I took office, I never release names when people are disciplined, terminated or they resign. You can go to the county and [file a freedom of information law request] for it,” he said.

The Daily Gazette filed that request Friday afternoon.

The resignations, and the arrest of a former county jail guard, stem from an ongoing drug investigation by state police, officials said Thursday.

The four who resigned were identified by sources as two correction officers and two sergeants. They were observed by state police entering the residence of David Garhartt, who had been twice fired as a jail guard and who now faces three felony counts related to a pound and a half of marijuana and quantities of marijuana oil and marijuana candy. The items were seized from his home by troopers last week. There was also evidence of drug use by the four unnamed guards who resigned, sources said.

Garhartt was fired as a jail guard for drug use in 2011 but was later reinstated. He was fired a second time on different grounds in 2015.

District Attorney Robert Carney on Friday said he has no reason to believe there’s a larger investigation into drug use inside the jail, based on what he’s heard from the sheriff and the state police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team investigation that led to Garhartt’s arrest.

“I think the resignations were the result of an internal affairs investigation, and [the sheriff] hasn’t brought me any indication that it goes beyond internal affairs,” Carney said. “Nor has [the state police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team] indicated it goes beyond that.”

Garhartt, 48, of Rotterdam, was charged after a March 30 raid on his home at 2040 Fiero Ave.

A state police spokeswoman said the investigation was ongoing Thursday but would not comment further.

No one other than Garhartt appears to have been arrested. Garhartt is now free on $40,000 bond.

Garhartt sued in federal court over his second firing, saying he was terminated after the county learned he had post-traumatic stress disorder. In November, he received a $185,000 settlement from the county.

County Legislator Tom Constantine, chairman of the county’s Public Safety Committee, said he was unaware of the guards’ resignations until media outlets reported it.

“I only know as much as you do,” he said.

Reach Daily Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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