Posted at: 09/11/2013 5:53 PM
| Updated at: 09/11/2013 5:58 PM
By: Mark Mulholland
THURMAN - A former town supervisor from Warren County, who was convicted of a felony, has taken a big step toward getting his old job back.
John Haskell was thrown out of office when he was found guilty of defrauding the government.
With a win in last night's Republican primary, Haskell predicts he will soon be supervisor again.
“I am going to win in November, it isn't if I can, I'm going to,” says Haskell.
He says he'll be Thurman's next Town Supervisor. What makes that prediction remarkable is that Haskell was convicted in 2008 of defrauding the government. He was in his fifth term as Town Supervisor at the time when he was found guilty of the felony count.
The jury found that he lied to the town board about the access rights to a piece of land he owned for logging. An erroneous deed was filed to back up Haskell's claim. Haskell appealed, but his conviction was upheld.
As he celebrates his Republican primary win over incumbent Evelyn Wood, he sees the victory as vindication.
“I think it has made me a better person, yes I do, in my own heart,” says Haskell.
But Wood, who still has the Democrat, Conservative and Independence party lines, sees it much differently.
We don't want to be known as the town who re-elected a felon. We don't want to be the laughing stock of the state and have a very bad reputation because of this man's actions,” says Wood.
“I think we already have a black eye…Not from me, no,” says Haskell
Republicans outnumber Democrats 3 to 1 in this picturesque town of 1,200 people, so Wood has her work cut out to keep her seat.
She said Wednesday that she’s in it to win it.