MASSENA, N.Y. (WWNY) - Massena Mayor Timmy Currier, who was arrested on drug and other charges, said Wednesday that he’s taking a leave of absence so he can seek professional treatment.
“I informed Deputy Mayor Matt LeBire and Village Administrator Monique Chatland that I will be taking a leave of absence from my position as Village of Massena Mayor, so I can seek professional treatment. Deputy Mayor LeBire will serve as acting Mayor in my absence,” he said in a prepared statement.
Currier was stopped by authorities just before 12:30 p.m. Tuesday and was allegedly in possession of a quantity of crack cocaine.
Officials said the 55 year old failed to comply with officers at first. When detectives and special agents attempted to stop Currier’s vehicle, he allegedly failed to stop and kept driving for another third of a mile through the village of Massena.
Currier also allegedly tossed about gram of crack out of his passenger-side window before he stopped his vehicle.
He was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor.
He also faces charges of tampering with physical evidence, a felony, and failure to comply with a police officer.
The Department of Homeland Security assisted the St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force in the arrest.
Officials said Wednesday during a news conference that Currier’s arrest was the result of an undercover operation that began a few months ago after authorities received a tip.
“We have to treat every individual like we treat everybody else. His status, if he’s a mayor, or whatever occupation he is, doesn’t matter to us,” said St. Lawrence County Sheriff Brooks Bigwarfe.
The arrest was captured on video. At one point, an officer had his gun drawn as Currier was handcuffed. Bigwarfe says that’s typical following a police chase.
“Our law enforcement officers go into what we call “felony stop.” Because it’s a felony stop, it could be a dangerous situation. We’ve got to take precautions and that’s why the gun was brandished,” said Bigwarfe.
Currier was arraigned by Morristown Justice James Phillips and is expected back on December 21.
“Some time ago, I made some poor decisions that unfortunately led me down a path resulting in my arrest on Tuesday, December 1st. I cannot express how embarrassed and disappointed in myself and for my family and friends,” Currier said in his statement. “I want to apologize to my family and friends who continue to show me unconditional love during these difficult times.”
Before serving as mayor, Currier was the village police chief.
“Please remember that the Village of Massena employees and staff do incredible work for this community each and every day. My poor decisions should not reflect negatively upon them in any way,” Currier said in his statement. “I have spent 32 years in public service working for the citizens of Massena and the North Country. I have always appreciated their trust and support. I hope and pray that I will have an opportunity to regain that trust.”
Currier also asked the public to respect his family’s privacy “during this difficult time.”