This letter is in support of Michael J. Filicetti, candidate for Niagara County Sheriff. I believe I am in a unique position to make this endorsement of Acting Niagara County Sheriff Filicetti. I was elected Niagara County Sheriff four times and served from 1994 to 2008. I also served as Chairman of the New York State Commission of Corrections from 2008 to 2018.

During my tenure as sheriff, I observed and interacted with sheriffs and other law enforcement professionals from across New York state. As Chairman of the Commission of Corrections, I held a seat in the Public Safety Cabinet, serving at the highest level of New York state government. This position also afforded me the opportunity to work alongside leaders in law enforcement and corrections encompassing agencies as large as the New York City Police Department and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Correctional Division, to smaller agencies such as the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office with fewer than a dozen employees.

I have watched and worked with public safety professionals in leadership positions, many times in very stressful circumstances, such as inmate escapes, custody deaths, natural disasters and even epidemics as in 2008 when the H1N1 virus was threatening Rikers Island in New York City.

I have witnessed the very best in leadership and some who were not such good leaders. The traits of the very best leaders were all the same — integrity, courage, vision, sense of purpose, dedication, work ethic, compassion, along with the willingness to accept responsibility.

These leadership qualities were developed by working with and leading others. They were formed starting as first-line supervisors and after proving themselves in each position that followed until ultimately gaining the confidence and trust of others to lead their agencies.

This is exactly what Michael Filicetti has done. He has made good decisions under stressful situations as a sergeant, as a captain and as our Niagara County undersheriff. He has proven he possesses all the characteristics of an effective leader. Mike Filicetti is someone I trust to lead our Niagara County Sheriff’s Office through these stressful times and beyond.

I enthusiastically endorse Acting Sheriff Michael J. Filicetti for the Office of Niagara County Sheriff and ask that you also support him. Thank you.

THOMAS A. BEILEIN, retired Niagara County Sheriff

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