“Judge dismisses charges against GOP election chief”

This is a new one for me:

A state Supreme Court justice in Westchester County has dismissed a charge of contempt that had been leveled against the Republican commissioner of the Dutchess County Board of Elections by his Democratic counterpart.

In an order signed Wednesday, Judge Robert DiBella ruled Erik Haight’s decision to have a stack of voter registration forms investigated by the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office did not violate a previous legal agreement that requires both commissioners to act together on elections-related matters.

The charge of contempt was brought by Democratic Commissioner Fran Knapp. She contended that by calling the Sheriff’s Office without consulting her, Haight was in contempt of the court-ordered agreement.

DiBella ruled that because the agreement did not expressly prohibit either commissioner from unilaterally calling police to investigate a stack of possibly altered forms, neither civil nor criminal contempt apply.

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