Gerace tapped to be next Fredonia chief
By JOHN D’AGOSTINO
A familiar face could be heading the Fredonia Police Department starting next month.
According to a resolution for the Village Board meeting this evening, former Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace is in line for the position. The filing states Gerace would begin on a provisional basis on Dec. 13 and receive an annual salary of $88,800. His salary would increase to $93,800 upon his permanent appointment.
Gerace has a long history with law enforcement. He served as sheriff for 24 years until he was defeated by Jim Quattrone in the 2018 election and also previously held the director of campus security and safety for Chautauqua Institution.
During his time as sheriff, he was involved in two major high-profile crime cases that included Nushawn Williams as an HIV predator in 1997 and the four-month search of Ralph Phillips during the summer of 2006.
“Ralph Phillips was a lifelong criminal,” Gerace said in a 2019 interview at Chautauqua Institution. “He ended up killing a New York State trooper: shooting three and killing one. It was the summer from hell.”
He also oversaw a number of homicide cases that included Clymer Superintendent Keith Reed Jr. who was killed by Anthony Taglianetti in 2012.
If approved, Gerace would take the position that is currently being held by Philip Maslak who is planning to retire. Fredonia’s Village Board meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.