SCRIBA N.Y-- It was last July when Scriba Highway Superintendent Michael Barry was arrested for driving while intoxicated. State police say Barry's blood alcohol content was 0.14 percent, almost twice the legal limit.
"He kept it quiet. Mr Barry that is. Right through the election season, primary election and the general election. On the eve of the November election, literally, the night that the vote was occurring, it was discovered that he had a pending DWI," said town of Scriba Attorney Kevin Caraccioli.
It's that charge Barry pleaded guilty to last week in Cayuga County, right before he was set to go to trial. Barry was elected Highway superintendent in November of 2015, but voters didn't know about the arrest until after the election.
"When I got pulled over I was on my own time," Barry said. "It had nothing to do with the town. They went above and beyond their duties to push for me to get charged. They made it public knowledge, they put it in the newspaper, they put it all over the news."
Caraccioli says he believes if voters had known about the arrest, Barry might not have been elected.
"Mr Barry was elected in November, fair and square. but he just didn't happen to disclose a very important legal matter that was pending," said Caracciolo.
However, the highway superintendent tells us a different story.
"The communications between the town attorney, the town supervisor and the DA's office, I felt like I could not get a fair trial," Barry said. "Like I said, there was a discrepancy with the alcohol testing machine, it broke. There was questions about the stop. I believe I could have won a trial if it was a fair trial."
Barry says while his license is currently revoked, he has no trouble getting to work and performing his job.
"The roads are always plowed, we're doing our oiling, we're doing our blacktopping, we're doing our graveling," he said. "Everything that was done prior to me is being done now."
"It strains creditability in my opinion, the person who is in charge of overseeing the roads within a town can't drive the roads he is elected to oversee, particularly as a result of a DWI," Caracciolo said.
New York state does not require a highway superintendent to have a license. Meanwhile the town is taking steps to have Barry removed from office.
They are hoping to have that position changed from an elected to an appointed decision. Voters will make that decision though this November.