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Clinton County Legislator Returns To Meetings Following Arrest

Area 4 Legislator Simon Conroy attends the September 25th meeting of the Clinton County Legislature
Pat Bradley/WAMC
Area 4 Legislator Simon Conroy attends the September 25th meeting of the Clinton County Legislature

A Clinton County legislator who was arrested earlier this month is now running for chair of the body.
On Friday September 6, Clinton County Area 4 Legislator Simon Conroy, a Democrat, was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in front of Plattsburgh City Hall and taken to the local medical center.  A week later the city police chief said Conroy would face an additional misdemeanor charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Wednesday evening was the first time Conroy attended a meeting of the Clinton County Legislature since his arrest. He read a statement to his colleagues.  “I was arrested for disorderly conduct. I believe the charge was fraudulent and due to a particularly corrupt law enforcement officer. I believe I suffered over the last 30 days a mid-life crisis of sorts. The trauma I endured these past weeks has been difficult and uncharacteristic for me and my family. Please accept my deepest and most heartfelt apologies. My focus and hope is to mend fences.  In conclusion please allow me this opportunity to advance my candidacy for the chairmanship of the Clinton County Legislature.”

Conroy later said he found his experiences eye-opening and denied any wrongdoing.  “I received a roughly million dollar education over this past month during not only a mid-life crisis where I was depressed but also a bender where I was high. So I went through a lot of experiences that I didn’t go through in the past.”
Press Republican Editor-in-Chief Joe LoTemplio: “Tell us about the charge for cocaine possession.”
Conroy:   “That is bizarre to me because I was living at CVPH (University of Vermont Health Network - Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital) on the Friday that they reported that. So I don’t know how I could be in possession.”
LoTemplio:  “From what I understand it they found it in your vehicle.”
 Conroy: “Absolutely not.”

Current Clinton County Legislature Chair Harry McManus, also a Democrat, is term limited and will leave the post at the end of the year.  He says Conroy told him a month ago his desire to seek the position.   “My sense is that he aspires to the position. You know I think he wants to be in a leadership role. The way it’s determined is based upon the Republican-Democratic split. Normally it’s been that way forever so I think we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Bradley:  “What do you think his chances are?”
McManus:  “I have told him that I believe that he should take a little more time as a legislator. I was on the board for eight years before I became chairman.”

When asked what the county thinks about Conroy’s recent behavior, McManus expressed hope that he was seeking appropriate help.  “At the time when we spoke to Simon we all agreed that he needed some help and I hope he’s getting it. I hope he is progressing along. Certainly the return I guess is part of that process. Beyond that I think it is a work in progress. We’ll wait and see where we are. I only have three months left so we’re kind of in a situation where I would like to see him continue to improve at each meeting. You know he’s made his statement. He’s said what he had to say and I hope we can now get back to what I would consider to be regular order.”

Conroy’s legislative term ends in 2021.

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