TOWN OF LOCKPORT – A town judge on Thursday denied a request to suppress statements made as part of a probe into claims of sexual abuse involving female inmates leveled last year against a Niagara County corrections officer.
David B. Elliott, 56, of Sanborn, an officer in the County Jail since 2006, was charged last February with a misdemeanor count of sexual abuse, as well as official misconduct.
His attorney, Joel L. Daniels, argued to Justice Raymond E. Schilling that Elliott’s statement made to his superiors when the investigation began should be barred under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a public employee cannot be compelled by his employer to incriminate himself.
Schilling let the charges stand.
Sheriff James R. Voutour said Elliott remains suspended without pay, correcting earlier statements by the Sheriff’s Office that said he was continuing to draw a salary.
Though he can’t be specific about the type of sexual abuse involved, Voutour said the charges leveled against Elliott involved more than one female inmate and occurred over a period of time, a few months before the Sheriff’s Office suspended him in February. Internal hearings are pending regarding Elliott’s continued employment, Voutour said.
Daniels is using sheriff’s internal hearings “to glean as much information to dispute everything he can in the criminal case,” the sheriff said. “That’s why this is getting dragged out.”
Following an appearance in court Thursday, Daniels said, “We are waiting for the results of arbitration.”
Daniels appeared in Town Court without Elliott, who he said was out of town, and asked Schilling for another adjournment – the eighth time such a request has been made – until after arbitration is finished.
“We can’t rule out going to trial on this,” Daniels told The Buffalo News after court.