WNYT.com

Cairo police chief accused of tampering with evidence

Posted at: 03/22/2013 10:16 AM
Updated at: 03/22/2013 6:04 PM
By: Dan Bazile

CAIRO - Christopher Sprague, 48, is usually the one doing the arrests. But the Cairo Police Chief found himself on the other side of the justice system.

"It's shocking to us. I'm sure it's shocking to the town as well," said Cairo Town Supervisor Ted Banta.

The Cairo Town Board voted unanimously to suspend Sprague without pay. They say it was the due course of action based on the felony charges the chief is facing.

"We certainly think this is an unfortunate circumstance, not a representation of the town of Cairo. We are disappointed," Banta said.

Sprague is accused of tampering with physical evidence, public records and tampering with a witness. He's also charged with falsely reporting an incident. State police would not say which specific case Sprague is accused of tampering with or the motive of his alleged actions.

"At this point I'm not at a position where I can release as to why we got involved," said State Police Senior Investigator Scott Youngblood.

Newschannel 13 went to the chief's home Friday morning to get a comment on the case. But we were unable to knock on his door because of a large dog tied to his porch that started growling.

Sprague became the chief in Cairo back in 2006. It's a part-time job. He was also the animal control officer for the town. Both positions are now filled with a temporary replacement.

"Our police department won't skip a beat," Banta said. "We'll be able to conduct business accordingly and represent the town of Cairo as best we can."

The Village of Catskill Police will also have to do the best they can without Sprague who was a full-time patrolman there in addition to being the chief in Cairo.

"I placed him on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation," said Catskill Police Chief David Darling.