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Police: Auburn Deputy Chief of Police arrested for DWI, placed on leave without pay

Lt. Roger J. Anthony / Photo courtesy: Auburn Police Department

The deputy chief of the Auburn Police Department is on administrative leave without pay after getting arrested for driving while intoxicated, according to the Auburn Police Department.

New York State Police say 44-year-old Roger Anthony was arrested early Saturday morning after crashing into a ditch.

It happened around 2:30 a.m. at the intersection of Sebior and Half Acre roads in the town of Aurelius. He is now facing misdemeanor charges of first-offense DWI and aggravated DWI.

Deputy Anthony, a 20-year veteran of the force, spoke with his boss Police Chief Shawn Butler after his arrest.

"He is ready to take responsibility. He knows this is a detrimental mistake, but I will say deputy chief Anthony has a stellar 20-year career with our department with zero disciplinary issues in the past," Chief Butler explained.

State Police say they responded to a 911 call about an erratic driver when they found Anthony's personal car stuck in a ditch alongside Sevior Road. He allegedly had a passenger in his car, but no one was injured.

Auburn City Manager Jeff Dygert says he won't be making a decision on Anthony's future with the Auburn Police Department until his case goes through court. "There are a lot of things that still need to play out and deputy chief Anthony has rights like any employee would," Dygert said.

Chief Butler says he understands an officer accused of breaking the law that he is paid to enforce is damaging to the department's reputation, particularly when that officer holds a leadership position in the department. "But we are human," says Chief Butler. "People tend to lose that sometimes, that police officers do make mistakes. We are held to a high standard which is appropriate because of the responsibility that we wield everyday with our position, but I would ask that people look at the totality of what he has given to this community and this is a mistake that we can all learn from."

Anthony is expected to be arraigned in Arelius Town Court on the aggravated DWI charge on Wednesday. The Cayuga County District Attorney's Office says a special prosecutor will be handling the case.

In the meantime, Chief Butler says he has no plans of filling the deputy chief position, even on an interim basis.

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