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Former Broome Exec Preston Charged with Misconduct

Broome County Executive Debra Preston answering questions from reporters on October 11, 2016. (Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Broome County Executive Debra Preston answering questions from reporters on October 11, 2016. (Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Debra Preston, the Broome County Executive who left office at the end of December, has been arrested on official misconduct charges.

Preston, who lives in Conklin, was arrested Monday morning by New York State Police.

The arrest was announced by Schuyler County District Attorney Joseph Fazzary, six months after he was appointed to serve as a special prosecutor by an administrative judge.

Fazzary said Preston has been charged with three counts of official misconduct. The misdemeanor charge carries a penalty of up to one year in jail.

The prosecutor said the charges involve Preston’s alleged actions while she served as Town of Conklin supervisor from 2003 through 2011.

Preston is accused of unlawfully obtaining a credit card in her name and in the town’s name. She then allegedly used the card to make purchases for “her own personal needs.”

Preston also is accused of using the credit card after leaving the supervisor’s post to become Broome County executive despite “specifically being told no longer” to use it.

Preston was arrested by a state police investigator and issued an appearance ticket for Tuesday in Conklin town court. But at the request of defense attorney Paul Battisti, the arraignment was delayed.

The arraignment was rescheduled for April 25 at 10 a.m. Fazzary said Preston is expected to appear at that time.

Battisti Tuesday afternoon said he would have no comment on the developments “at this time.”

Fazzary is handling the prosecution because Broome County District Attorney Stephen Cornwell recused himself from any case involving Preston.

For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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