HAMBURG, N.Y. -- Two months ago, a local elected official took a town-owned vehicle on a personal trip, and there's video proof.
Hamburg Highway Superintendent Ted Casey admits he drove his take-home Ford Expedition to Philadelphia to pick up his daughter and her belongings. He says it was a family emergency and that he needed to get her out of a potentially dangerous situation.
While on the trip, Casey ran a red light. He was issued a $100 ticket. 2 On Your Side obtained the written citation as well as a video and pictures of the violation.
Sources told 2 On Your Side that Casey put taxpayers at risk, because the Town of Hamburg's insurance may not have covered his trip since the vehicle was clearly being used for non-official purposes.
Casey refused to do an interview with 2 On Your Side, but he released the following statement:
Using the vehicle to drive to Philadelphia was in response to an emergency situation involving my daughter’s safety.
I received a call from her in the middle of the night that required my immediate attention.
I responded by traveling there to bring her and her belongings home and out of an unsafe environment.
Waiting till morning to rent a U-Haul was not an option.
I entered into public service as Hamburg Highway Superintendent and was issued a vehicle as part of my compensation.
Although I did not violate town policy I certainly understand constituent concerns relative to this isolated event.
I am confident that anyone put in that position would have done the same.
I respect the taxpayers of Hamburg and all related costs associated with the travel, including the ticket, were paid out-of-pocket.
Hamburg Town Supervisor Jim Shaw would only say, "I will investigate, and the Town Board will consider its options."
We're told the Town Board will likely adopt a written policy regarding take-home vehicles. In light of 2 On Your Side's reporting, board members may also discuss whether or not take-home vehicles are appropriate.