Livingston County, N.Y. --- A Livingston County Sheriff’s Office Deputy is suing that agency’s former Undersheriff for more than $250,000. The lawsuit (see attached) states that Deputy Gary Miller was not fully repaid more than $278,000 that he loaned to former Undersheriff Martin Herkimer since 2002. It further states that payments stopped in December 2011.
A 13WHAM News investigation uncovered a half-dozen other loans Herkimer received and they reveal a pattern involving subordinates in his department, others in law enforcement, friends, and in one case a friend who is now a top county official. In some cases people were repaid after weeks, months, or years. In some other cases people are still owed money by Herkimer.
In every case, those with knowledge of this situation continually wondered a question this investigation can not answer: Where did all this money go?
Herkimer lost his job in December 2010 after Livingston County Sheriff John York discovered the pattern of loans.
"I fired him immediately," Sheriff York told 13WHAM News of that day. "After I had found out about it I met with him an hour and a half later and terminated his employment in this agency when I found out in fact he did borrow money from subordinate employees.”
The pattern of loans raised questions by many about how Herkimer’s debts did, or could have, compromised the office.
Gary Miller’s Case
Deputy Gary Miller was in a financial situation that allowed him to loan Herkimer more than $278,605.36 over a number of years. Herkimer does not deny this debt or the remaining balance of $250,538.36 that he still owes Miller.
Miller’s lawsuit states that he incurred $18,733.00 in taxes, finance charges, and commission charges on top of what he loaned Herkimer. From 2007 to 2011 Herkimer paid $46,800.00 back to Miller but those payments stopped December 5, 2011.
Miller and his lawyer refused to comment for this report.
The case is now scheduled to appear in front a judge in Monroe County on March 21st and Miller’s lawyer has filed a motion asking the court for judgment. The motion also includes a letter (see attached) in which Miller’s lawyer describes how Herkimer proposed a plan to pay back Miller. It involved Herkimer obtaining $60,000 in loans from two family members and using $123,000 from his wife’s retirement savings.
Herkimer even gave this lawyer a check for $60,000 and post-dated it for November 28, 2012. Miller’s lawyer further states that Herkimer called him that day and said the money was not available but would be later in the week.
A Pattern Develops With Other Loans
Informing people they would be paid back in a matter of days or a week was a common theme relayed to 13WHAM News by those who also loaned Herkimer money over the years. Often those claims were followed up with additional reasons, explanations, or requests for a little more time.
13WHAM News identified a half-dozen other people who loaned Herkimer money and each described their experience in detail in exchange for anonymity in this report. Some were worried about retaliation, impact on families involved, or wished to avoid public embarrassment.
Here is a breakdown: