DUTCHESS COUNTY – When Dutchess County Sheriff Butch Anderson passed away in September of 2021, Governor Hochul was given the chance to name a new sheriff to serve until the November 2022 election. As of March 8, 2022, she has not named an appointment.
Acting Sheriff Kirk Imperati, the Undersheriff for most of Anderson’s tenure, interviewed with members of Hochul’s staff in November. He met with Hochul’s Chief of Appointments and other staffers, including the governor’s public safety advisors. “I told them that I am not a political person and I am willing to help everyone.”
In early February, Mid-Hudson News learned that A Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) employee, had also been interviewed for the appointment. Deputy Adrienne Licari, an eight-year veteran of the DCSO is the daughter of Robin Licari, Chairperson of the Town of Wappinger Democratic Committee. When asked about the interview, Deputy Licari declined to comment.
Days later, Governor Hochul was asked about the timeframe for an appointment. She told Mid-Hudson News “We have individuals that are being interviewed.” “There’s a process – very strong vetting – background vetting that goes on and we interview people,” the governor added.
On February 22, retired DCSO Deputy Jillian Hanlon announced that she planned to seek the Democratic endorsement to run for Sheriff in November. When asked if she had interviewed with Hochul’s staff, she also declined to comment. Hanlon seeks to make history by being the first transgender person elected to the office of sheriff.
On February 23, at a Newburgh press conference, Hochul was told by Mid-Hudson News that Hanlon had tossed her hat into the ring and was seeking the Democratic nomination later that week. She was then asked if having an announced candidate would change the appointment, she said “Our team has been speaking to the local leadership, interviewing individuals, and trying to make the right decision with respect to that election, but we understand there is an opportunity to name an individual to fill the vacancy but also there is the other option of letting the process play out,” she said. “We’re working on it as we speak – we really are.”
Hanlon was endorsed by the Dutchess County Democratic Committee as their candidate for Sheriff a few days after Hochul’s comments in Newburgh. Imperati has maintained that the decision should be left up to the Dutchess County voters in November.
On March 8, Governor Hochul’s staff confirmed that in addition to interviewing Imperati, both Hanlon and Licari also submitted applications to be considered for the appointment.