With a court appearance facing him on Monday, Town of Niagara Supervisor Steven C. Richards on Friday notified the town clerk that he has officially retired from his post.
Niagara Town Board member Marc M. Carpenter confirmed Friday evening that all board members had been copied with the letter by the clerk, and that Richards, who is 60, was characterizing his departure as a retirement rather than a resignation.
Richards, who was elected town supervisor in 1995, faces charges of public corruption, outlined in an October 2013 indictment that accuses him of appropriating town goods and resources for personal use and having town employees do personal work for him. His case was scheduled to go to trial next week but it is now expected that he will agree to a plea arrangement that would reduce the felony charge against him to a Class A misdemeanor.
“It looks like he was getting ahead of Monday’s news,” Carpenter said. “He turned the letter into the town clerk with his keys.”
Deputy Supervisor Danny Sklarski will be acting as supervisor temporarily while the board determines who will replace Richards.