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Oswego Co. legislator, school counselor each charged in child endangerment case

Shawn Doyle and John James Maroney/ NYS Police

An Oswego County legislator and a school-based counselor are each charged in a child endangerment case, according to New York State Police.

The charges come after an investigation that began when the parents of a 15-year-old child reported what they considered to be an "inappropriate relationship" between their son and the two suspects, state police said. A joint investigation between troopers, the FBI's Mid State Child Exploitation Task Force and the Oswego County District Attorney's Office was launched as a result of the parents' report.

State police say Shawn P. Doyle, 51, of Pulaski and John James Maroney, 73, of New Haven are each facing charges of Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Issuing a False Written Statement.

Doyle also faces charges of Unlawfully Dealing with a Minor. State police said the charge stems from the alleged involvement of alcohol in the case.

Doyle is a member of the Oswego County legislature; he represents the county's third district, which encompasses the Pulaski and Richland areas.

State police said the victim's parents became concerned because Doyle had allegedly purchased clothes and computer equipment for him, as well as given him cash.

It's further alleged that Doyle took the child to concerts, out to eat and had him spend the night at his home in Pulaski, state police said. In addition, the teen ran away from home multiple times and was found at Doyle's house each time, state police said.

One of the charges against Doyle stems from an allegation that Doyle told other teen boys to lie to authorities about the victim's whereabouts, investigators said.

James Maroney is a counselor employed at Northern Oswego County Health, Inc. (NOCHSI) working at Pulaski Middle School - High School. Maroney has been placed on administrative leave and is prohibited from entering any school district premises or participating in any school activities, according to Pulaski Superintendent of Schools, Brian Hartwell.

"The safety and well-being of our students is always the highest priority in our schools. We are shocked and dismayed by this allegation and will be working to support all of our students," the district said in a release.

State police declined to go into further detail about Maroney's alleged role in the case.

Both Doyle and Maroney were arraigned in the Town of Richland and released on their own recognizance, state police said.

The Oswego County legislature issued the following statement Thursday:

A founding principal of our criminal justice system is the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven. Following this belief, and out of respect for Legislator Doyle, we will not comment on this matter.

State police ask anyone with information on the case to contact them at 315-366-6000.

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