MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore (R-Gerry) is being criticized by his opponent for allegedly violating state motor vehicle law as part of his campaign for reelection.
This past week county clerk candidate LeeAnn Lazarony (D-Cassadaga) sent out a media release, stating Barmore was recently issued a traffic ticket for the alleged illegal use of New York State auto dealer plates.
The citation was apparently issued Oct. 14 by the New York State Police when Barmore was found driving around with a car-full of “Barmore for County Clerk” signs in Stockton with the intention of posting the signs as part of his reelection effort. State law says that the dealer plates cannot be used on a vehicle for regular business or transportation uses.
In addition to serving as county clerk, Barmore is also the owner of a small dealership in Gerry.
Lazarony said that as elected Couty Clerk and business owner, Barmore should know the rules regarding the use of dealer license plates. Part of the clerk’s position involves overseeing the State Department of Motor Vehicle offices in the county, is the office that oversees vehicle registration and providing license plates to local residents.
Lazarony also criticized Barmore for mingling his auto-buying business with his day job as county clerk. She said that issue was brought before the county ethics board a couple of years ago following complaints. WRFA was made aware of the allegation when it first took place, but learned the county ethics board addressed the issue in executive session and no formal disciplinary action was ever taken against Barmore. As a result, the specific details of the allegations were never made public.
Barmore responded to the criticism in the Jamestown Post-Journal on Friday, stating the dealer’s manual specifies that dealer plates are not allowed to be used on family members vehicles, and also cannot be used for regular towing or hauling. He emphasized the use of the word “regular” and said the issue seems like a matter of interpretation.
Barmore also 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 also admits he was brought before the county ethics committee after a former employee filed grievances against him, but all allegations came back unfounded.
Barmore and Lazarony are squaring off in this year’s county clerk’s race as part of the 2017 general election on November 7. The two were recently featured on WRFA’s Community Matters program.