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Two Schoharie County DPW employees facing criminal charges

NYSP say charges surround investigation into missing vehicle

SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) - Two Schoharie County Department of Public Works employees are facing charges after an investigation into a missing vehicle that was found 30 miles away in an Albany scrapyard.

New York State Police say Schoharie County Public Works Administrator Ben Cooper and DPW mechanic James "J.P." Shultz are both facing a charge of Conspiracy with Cooper also facing felony charges of Possession of Stolen Property and Falsifying Business Records.

Police say an investigation began after a report over a missing car filed by one of Mr. Schultz’s former tenants.

Investigators are offering few details regarding the alleged crime.  As the DPW Administrator, Cooper is in charge of all county vehicles including the fleet of Sheriff’s Department vehicles. Both men are well entrenched in local politics - Schultz sits on the Schoharie Town Board, and in 2018, Cooper was named the Schoharie County GOP’s Republican of the Year for volunteering for local campaigns.

Schoharie County DPW Director Dan Crandall told NEWS10 ABC that the allegations do not involve the county or county paperwork, and for now, both men remain on the job.


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