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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wellsville: Former Mayor says he "has time to be Justice"

Earlier this week, the Allegany County Board of Elections released information on those who have filed nominating petitions to run for the November 8th election. In Wellsville, there were some expected results...there will be a contested race for mayor and several are seeking spots on the village board. However, for RNN, there was one surprise - a contested race for village Justice. The incumbent is Christopher O'Connor, D-Wellsville. However, former Wellsville Trustee and Mayor Bradley Thompson, R-Wellsville, is also seeking the job. Thompson's 'day' job is a professor at the Wellsville campus of Alfred State College. But during an interview with RNN this afternoon, Thompson said "I've always been interested in law enforcement...I have the time to do it." Thompson said he would be a 24/7 Justice, for the most part. He admits that during the day, his time has limitations...an issue faced by many local Justices in the county...but he says he can be there evenings and overnights. The Wellsville police Department has three holding cells to contain prisoners until an arraignment. Thompson says "It's time for a choice." He said he was motivated to run for office by the local GOP party.
A review of Wellsville Police blotter reports show that many late night arraignments are handled by an Acting Justice or those in Willing, Scio or Independence. Thompson said that's an extra cost to the village.
Thompson had no specific comments regarding bail issues or court procedures and acknowledges he'll have to go through the required state-mandated Justice training. However, village court isn't limited to criminal cases. A review shows that over the years, there are several civil cases heard in local court. Thompson said, "it comes down to the facts of each case."