DA Appoints Senior Staffers To Probe Deputy Hallet Case
Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara has appointed two of his most senior people to take on the investigation of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and its handling of one of its deputies, Adam Hallett (pictured).
McNamara, whose office was selected as the special prosecutor to handle the case, has appointed 1st Assistant DA Mike Coluzza to lead the probe along with Assistant DA Stacey Paolozzi.
Coluzza has been with the Oneida County DA's Office for 22 years.
Paolozzi is in charge of the DWI unit in the same office.
Coluzza tells 7 News they have begun the process of requesting and receiving reports that have already been generated in the case.
Coluzza says it is far too early for him to comment on the case or when he and his assistant may travel to Watertown to continue their investigation.
McNamara says that this is a rather important case and he wanted to make sure his office gave its best effort and best people.
Deputy Hallett was found in his county vehicle last December 1, parked on the side of county route 72 in the town of Henderson.
He was slumped over the wheel and at first appeared to be unconscious, according to a woman who reported the matter to 911.
The sheriff's deputy who responded to the scene dismissed an ambulance and state police unit, and threw an open bottle of liquor found in the vehicle into a field, according to internal county reports.
Hallett was described as acting "somewhat intoxicated," but he was never tested for alcohol.
Sheriff John Burns subsequently suspended Hallett without pay for a time, but the incident - along with others in the department - produced calls for an outside investigation.