Police: State director said she feared losing her job after Sunday Colonie crash

She has been placed on administrative leave and could face termination, state says
Sheila McBain
Sheila McBain

COLONIE — The director of a state program for children hid in the woods after she crashed a vehicle Sunday evening, according to court documents.

Sheila M. McBain, 56, of Latham, is accused of driving drunk and fleeing the one-car crash on foot Sunday evening. She later told officers she was the director for the state central register for the Office of Children and Family Services. She has been placed on administrative leave pending completion of an internal investigation into the incident, state officials said.

According to police accounts, officers responded with police dogs after the crash and set up a perimeter to search for the driver.

A patrol officer reported hearing noise in some nearby woods and McBain soon appeared, telling an officer, “I guess I’m caught,” according to court documents.

McBain had only socks on her feet when she was apprehended. She smelled of alcohol, and a breath test determined her blood alcohol content to be 0.12 percent, above the DWI threshold of 0.08 percent, police said. She allegedly told officers she could not complete walking portions of her sobriety tests because her feet were numb from being outside without shoes.

She admitted to driving the vehicle that hit a concrete post near the railroad tracks and rolled over, according to court documents. 

She allegedly told officers she had about 2 1/2 glasses of wine while working on a rental property and was headed home at the time of the crash. She said she crashed because she was texting while driving, according to the court documents.

After the crash, she walked north along the railroad tracks, and officers found her near the entrance to Albany Fire Extinguisher, according to court documents.

“I didn’t stay because I was scared because I had a couple glasses of wine and didn’t want to lose my job,” she allegedly told officers after her arrest.

Additional disciplinary actions, including termination, are a possibility, according to an Office of Children and Family Services statement issued this week.

“OCFS is fully aware of the incident and takes these matters very seriously,” the OCFS said in the statement.

McBain is charged with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor; operating a motor vehicle while using a portable electronic device, an infraction; leaving the scene of a property damage accident, an infraction; and trespassing, a violation.

No attorney was listed for McBain as of Thursday. She is slated for a court appearance on Monday.


Also Thursday

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