Walter Calls for Investigation of DCJS and NYSP in SAFE Act Case

WALTER CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION OF DCJS AND NYSP IN SAFE ACT CASE

Assemblyman Ray Walter and colleagues send formal complaint to acting Inspector General

Assemblyman Ray Walter (R,C,I-Amherst) and his colleagues are calling on Acting Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott to review the policies and procedures associated with the implementation and enforcement of the NY SAFE Act. Specifically, Walter is asking that the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the administration of the New York State Police (NYSP) be investigated as to how they have conducted themselves with regard to the SAFE Act’s mental hygiene provisions over the past few months. Specifically, David Lewis, a local Amherst resident, wrongfully had his firearms confiscated and pistol permit revoked on April 1, after the NYSP identified him as the wrong David Lewis.

 “There is a failure on behalf of DCJS and the Superintendent to understand the provisions of the Act, which negatively affects their ability to properly implement its provisions,” Walter said in his letter. “The Act makes no reference to the County Clerk’s Office conducting an investigation and such an investigation would be outside of the powers and duties of the Clerk. This failure has had severe consequences in the well-documented case of Mr. Lewis, whose property was erroneously seized. We have heard similar stories throughout the state and are concerned that our citizens are being deprived of their civil rights. In addition, there have been reports that improper searches of individuals’ medical records have been taking place, including Mr. Lewis’. These accusations represent a serious breach of our residents’ constitutional rights and deserve a thorough investigation.”

Walter goes on to say that “the demonstrated failures of DCJS and the Superintendent to understand and properly implement the mental health provisions of the SAFE Act should be of major concern to the Inspector General’s office and, in our opinion, warrant a formal investigation of the actions taken so far and an examination of the procedures that they anticipate will be utilized going forward.”

 Walter added, “I have the utmost respect for our State Troopers who risk their lives each day serving and protecting the citizens of this state.  This issue is with the administration and political appointees who are carrying out the flawed policies emanating from the Governor’s Office.”

 Assemblyman Walter is currently circulating a letter to give his colleagues the opportunity to sign on and will be submitting this letter to Inspector General Scott next week.

 

 

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