Bartlett defends office shakeup

The position of undersheriff at the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office will be left temporarily vacant, Sheriff David Bartlett said Tuesday. File photo

HUDSON — The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is without an undersheriff.

A memorandum from Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett announced that effective Monday, acting Undersheriff Mark Dunspaugh would be resuming his duties as senior investigator.

The position of undersheriff will be left vacant until further notice, according to the memo.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office could not be immediately reached for comment.

Dunspaugh had been acting undersheriff since April after former undersheriff John Davi retired.

Dunspaugh has been with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office for 21 years, according to the sheriff’s office website.

Bartlett, the incumbent Republican, is facing a challenge from Democratic rival Don Krapf in the race for Columbia County sheriff.

“There is a lack of leadership at the sheriff’s office,” said Columbia County Democratic Committee Chairman Sam Hodge. “The sheriff’s office is already understaffed and is having problems recruiting and retaining talent. How can you leave the No. 2 spot empty?”

Hodge is a former assistant district attorney.

“I worked with law enforcement every single day of my job, Hodge said. “And I just find it really concerning that such a crucial position at the sheriff’s office would be left vacant.”

“The undersheriff is an important role because they act in the absence of the sheriff,” the Columbia County Democratic Committee said in a prepared statement. “The undersheriff is responsible for coordinating the various divisions within the agency and carrying out all assignments as directed by the sheriff. Every captain in the sheriff’s office is supervised by the undersheriff.”

Check back for more on this developing story.

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