Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News
North Collins Highway Superintendent David J. "Kissy" Winter has been accused of dumping a substance that looks and smells like liquid fertilizer into the car of an Eden man.
"We don't know what it is," Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard said. "People have described it as a smell like liquid manure."
Sheriff's deputies received a complaint last Thursday that someone had dumped a foul smelling liquid into the passenger side of a 2009 Chevrolet Suburban when it was parked outside Gui's Lumber in North Collins. The victim did not see Winter pouring the substance in his car, but investigation led to Winter, the sheriff said.
There was some conversation between the two about restitution, but no agreement was reached.
"Had there been restitution, there probably wouldn't be a complaint," Howard said.
Winter, 54, turned himself in Thursday morning to the sheriff's substation in North Collins, and was charged with second-degree criminal mischief, Howard said. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment before Hamburg Town Justice Walter Rooth and was released on his own recognizance. Howard said the arraignment took place in Hamburg because of the potential for a conflict in North Collins Town Court.
The charge comes because of the amount of damage to the car from the lingering odor than can't be removed.
Winter was first elected five years ago, and re-elected in November 2011. He is known for displaying color cutouts of himself in overalls and his trademark cowboy hat for his campaign signs, and he is president of Winter Railroad Service.
He drew the ire of several town residents a couple of years ago for dumping of another kind. He suggested using fill from the reconstruction of New Oregon Road as a base to rebuild old Rocky Mountain Road. The residents sued the town, saying the town had abandoned the old road and the residents owned the land, not the town.