SCRIBA, NY – Michael Barry, the Town of Scriba Highway Superintendent-elect, and a current employee of the highway department, was arrested for driving while intoxicated earlier this summer and managed to stay silent about the charges during a hotly contested primary and general election.
Last Tuesday, he was elected to the four-year post while his criminal action is still pending.
Barry, 48, a resident of Duke Road in the town of Scriba, was arrested by the New York State Police on July 26 in the town of Brutus, Cayuga County, and charged with multiple counts of DWI, as well as several traffic infractions, town officials said today (Nov. 8).
It is reported that Barry’s blood alcohol level was .14%, nearly double the state’s legal limit for driving while intoxicated.
Barry defeated incumbent Roger Myers by a count of 685 to 518. A ballot proposition expanding the term of the highway superintendent from two years to four years also passed.
“The voters of Scriba were tricked and deceived by Mr. Barry,” said Town Supervisor Ken Burdick. “I found out about this matter two hours before the polls closed and can’t help but feel sorry for everyone who didn’t know and cast their vote for this guy, it’s shameful what he has done. What a complete misuse of the public’s trust.”
This latest arrest comes a little more than two years after Barry was convicted for DWAI in the town of Lysander. He lost his ability to drive for the town highway department for one year.
The town fired him but Barry, through his union, appealed the decision and ultimately his position was restored by the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court. Less than two weeks after his return to work this summer he was arrested for another DWI.
This may be the fourth drinking and driving-related incident for Barry over the past 25 years.
Barry is scheduled to appear before the Brutus Town Justice on Tuesday, November 10 at which time his license to drive will be suspended, according to a representative of the Cayuga County District Attorney’s office.
A condition of his work requires him to maintain a Commercial Driver’s License. Under NYS law, if convicted of the latest DWI charge, Barry will be permanently disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle. His regular license will be revoked for up to one year or more.
“How can you be in charge of the town highways and not have a license to operate a vehicle on the very roads you are responsible for overseeing?” asked Supervisor Burdick. “This whole situation is a mess and I feel as though the town has been duped by Mr. Barry.”
It remains unclear whether the town of Scriba will be in a position to remove Barry from his newly elected post in the event he is convicted of his latest charge.
“We are working with the Cayuga County District Attorney to ensure that Mr. Barry is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Town Attorney Kevin Caraccioli. “Suspension, termination, and removal from office are all options being explored for Mr. Barry.”