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No Charges For Akshar, Newcomb

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Otsego DA not recommending charges Otsego DA not recommending charges
Otsego County -

Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl has completed his investigation and is not recommending charges against State Senator Fred Akshar or Broome Sheriff's Captain Kate Newcomb for a 2009 DWI crash.

Muehl was assigned to review the actions of then Detective Sgt. Akshar and Lt. Newcomb's actions on July 16, 2009, the night Jeffrey Taylor, who is Newcomb's nephew, crashed his vehicle in Endwell.

In a letter to New York Supreme Court Justice Michael Coccoma, who assigned Muehl as special prosecutor, he states: "Upon review of potential charges, it appears the two potential charges are Obstructing Governmental Administration in the second degree and Official misconduct." Both are class A misdemeanors, which Muehl states has a statute of limitations of two years.

Muehl said his conclusion does not address the merits of any potential charges "time barred" by the statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations can be extended up to seven years for public servants who hold public office. Muehl determined this does not apply in this case. Muehl said at the time of the crash, Newcomb and Akshar were acting as private citizens, not as public servants. He added while Akshar and Newcomb were public employees, neither could be considered a public official, who "generally has no employer, supervisor or authority overseeing their work."