MASSENA — About a month and a half after his drug arrest, Mayor Timmy J. Currier has announced he will resign from his position effective Feb. 1.
His decision was made public Tuesday morning.
“Since the events of December 1, I have worked hard on my recovery and I remain profoundly sorry for my actions. So many people have reached out in a variety of ways to lend their support to me and my family. We are thankful for each and every one of you. Although I know that I could continue to provide strong and capable leadership for this community, I have decided that I will resign as Mayor of Massena,” he said in a prepared statement.
Mr. Currier, 55, was charged at about 12:25 p.m. Dec. 1, with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence and failure to comply with a police officer after deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the mayor’s vehicle on Center Street.
The St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office reported Mr. Currier, the only occupant of his vehicle, failed to pull over and continued driving for roughly one-third of a mile through the village. Officers said they observed Mr. Currier throwing about one gram of crack cocaine out of his passenger window before stopping his vehicle near the intersection of Center and Willow streets.
Mr. Currier, the village’s former police chief, was arraigned virtually by Morristown Town Justice James T. Phillips Jr. and released on appearance tickets.
He announced the next day that he would take a leave of absence from his mayoral seat, with Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire handling the day-to-day operations of the village.
“In the coming months, it is vital that I dedicate myself to my personal recovery, repair damage I’ve caused with my family, and work to regain the trust of my closest friends,” he said.
Mr. Currier served with the Massena Police Department for 26 years, with 21 of those years as police chief. He officially resigned for retirement purposes on Nov. 28, 2014, prior to taking over as village mayor. He was re-elected to a second term in 2018, and his term was set to expire on Nov. 30, 2022. His salary is $17,000 annually.
St. Lawrence County Democratic Elections Commissioner Jennie H. Bacon said once they officially receive Mr. Currier’s resignation, the seat will be added to the November 2021 ballot to fill out the one-year unexpired term. Candidates for the full four-year term will seek the seat in November 2022.
Mr. LeBire said in a prepared statement Tuesday that he will continue to perform all duties of the mayor in his absence until Feb. 1, but the village board will need to appoint an individual to the mayor’s position to serve the remainder of the current official year.
He said the situation will be discussed further at the regularly scheduled board meeting held Tuesday night.
In Tuesday’s release, Mr. Currier recounted some of his accomplishments during his nearly 33 years of service to the community as police chief and mayor.
“It has been my great honor to serve you and this community for almost 33 years. Together we modernized our police agency, instituted a true community policing strategy, kept our citizens safe, and implemented several programs such as Triad, Neighborhood Watch, DARE, the Drug Free Coalition and opened a Boys & Girls Club, now Police Activities League,” he said.
Mr. Currier said, along with the village’s partners, they were able to achieve “hundreds of thousands of dollars to reduce blight, improved our neighborhoods, restarted a stalled housing market, and made quality home ownership a possibility for dozens of disadvantaged citizens.”
In addition, he said, with the help of citizens, organizations and volunteers, “we improved our infrastructure, reduced labor disputes, treated our staff and volunteer firefighters with dignity, focussed and delivered on downtown development, cleaned up several contaminated properties and by restoring fiscal responsibility to local government, we created an atmosphere that fostered growth and development in Massena.”
He thanked several individuals for their work, including Mr. LeBire, village trustees, the management team led by Village Administrator Monique Chatland, village staff, volunteer board members, partners, the strategic team and “most importantly, the great citizens of Massena.”
“Finally, I thank my wife and son, for enduring the challenges and sacrifices that come with living a very public life and for being by my side every step of the way,” Mr. Currier said. “Friends, it has been my honor to serve you. I hope I led with my heart, with commitment, perspective and empathy. This community has treated me very well, and no matter what I do, or where I go, Massena is and always will be home for me!”
Read the full statement here: