Challenger criticizes county clerk over traffic ticket
The Democratic candidate for Chautauqua County Clerk criticized her Republican opponent for a recent traffic infraction.
According to LeeAnn Lazarony, incumbent Larry Barmore was issued a traffic ticket for allegedly using dealer licence plates on a vehicle for personal use. In a statement, Lazarony said the citation was issued Oct. 14 by state police after Barmore was found “driving around with a car full of ‘Barmore for County Clerk’ signs.”
Barmore, when contacted Friday, confirmed the incident occurred but couldn’t recall the date. He said he had two large signs advertising his re-election bid that wouldn’t fit in his personal vehicle. Instead, so he took a truck that normally sits on the lot of his used-car business to put them up as a one-time occurrence.
Barmore said looking at the dealer’s manual, it specifies that dealer plates are not allowed to be used on family members vehicles, and also cannot be used for regular towing or hauling.
Barmore emphasized the use of the word “regular.” He said the issue seems like a matter of interpretation.
Barmore previously owned a used-car and tire shop, but sold the tire side of the business. Barmore said he does run the car dealership part-time, at night and on the weekends.
However, Barmore said he does not operate his business during his time at the County Clerk’s Office. Once or twice a month, Barmore said he takes time off to go to car auctions, but he is clocked out and the time is made up.
He said he was brought before the county ethics committee after a former employee filed grievances against him, the department’s union and the retirement system. All allegations came back unfounded, Barmore said, though noting he couldn’t discuss the incident further since it was a personnel matter and the employee no longer works with the county.
Overall, Barmore said he is surprised that his opponent had the information regarding the ticket and was putting out a press release. He said he is “not going to sink to that level.”
“I hope this isn’t the kind of campaign she plans on running,” he said. “I’m here to be positive and let the people know what I’ve done for them since I’ve been in office. What my opponent can’t do is not a concern of mine.’
Lazarony said as the county clerk, Barmore should have known his actions weren’t acceptable.
“Being the chief operating officer of the DMV in three locations, I would think you would know how you can and can’t use a dealer plate,” she said. “He’s the chief enforcer of the DMV. It doesn’t sit well with me.”
In the release, Lazarony noted Barmore’s dealership and questioned running the business while serving as county clerk. She said she will serve the people if elected to the position.
“My focus will be on the county clerk’s office and how we can have happy customers and employees,” she said. “It’s a county position funded by the county. I will work for the people.”