Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — NORTH TONAWANDA — A former North Tonawanda Board of Education member and a current employee of the Niagara County Board of Elections who was arrested Thursday night and charged with driving while intoxicated has been put on unpaid administrative leave from the county.
Michael P. Carney, 51, of Bennett Street, was pulled over for speeding at 10:41 p.m. on East Robinson Street, where he submitted to a breathalyzer test and was allegedly found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent, according to police reports, which is just over the legal limit. He was released on his own recognizance and arraigned in North Tonawanda City Court on Friday morning.
Carney served for three years on the school board beginning in 2008, stepped down, then lost in a close race last year after seeking to regain a seat. He’s also held several positions with the county, with the most recent stint beginning in April 2009 as a clerk with the board of elections. In February 2010 he was appointed as deputy commissioner.
Mary Ann Casamento, the Republican commissioner for the Niagara County Board of Election, said she suspended the North Tonawanda resident upon hearing the news from Carney on Friday.
“Mike Carney called me this morning and informed me that he was arrested last evening for DWI,” she said. “Immediately I put him on unpaid administrative leave until further notice.”
Casamento said the matter is now in the hand of the county’s human resource department.
Peter Lopes, the county director of human resources, said he could discuss little regarding Carney’s arrest, citing it a personnel issue, though he said the next step will be determined by he and Casamento.
“Human resources works with the department head to evaluate the situation,” he said. “I really can’t provide any more specifics.”