JAMESVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — After the Onondaga County Legislature narrowed votes intended to ultimately close the Jamesville Correctional Facility in February, Onondaga County Sheriff Toby Shelley is not backing down.
After taking office in January 2023, Sheriff Shelley asked county legislators to vote against the plan to merge the Jamesville Correctional Facility with the jail at the Onondaga County Justice Center, and now he’s suing the county and legislature over it.
Sheriff Shelley filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, June 6, in State Supreme Court against both Onondaga County and the County Legislature over the plan to close Jamesville Correctional.
This comes after Sheriff Shelley told NewsChannel 9 in February that he was “denying” but “not refusing” the merge that would result in the closure of the 40-year-old jail facility in Jamesville and move its inmate population and workforce to the newer facility in Downtown Syracuse.
According to court documents obtained by NewsChannel 9, the Sheriff says earlier this year the County and its Legislature “illegally stripped him of controlling the jail.”
Sheriff Shelley argues they needed a public vote, not the legislature vote that passed 9-8, to close Jamesville Correctional.
The county executive listed multiple reasons for the decision in February that Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said is best for inmates, deputies and taxpayers.
In February, Sheriff Shelley stated his thoughts on the merge saying, “Over and over, what I hear is: ‘What is the hurry?’ They don’t understand the numbers. They don’t understand the discussion. They ask: ‘What is the hurry?’ I ask this group: what is that hurry?”
The plan is currently on hold.