Massena Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire. Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — As Mayor Timmy J. Currier takes a leave of absence from municipal duties following his Tuesday drug arrest, Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire is stepping in and has vowed the village “will continue to operate as normal.”

Mr. LeBire, who was first elected village trustee in 2014, issued a statement Thursday afternoon, writing he was “shocked and surprised” by Mr. Currier’s arrest. He emphasized the importance of allowing the legal process to play out and wished the mayor the best “as he navigates this journey.”

The deputy mayor described Massena’s board members, administrative staff and department supervisors as an “incredible team” dedicated to working for the village. The village Emergency Operation Center, he said, will continue to provide public information and assistance through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Collectively, as a community, we will continue to tackle the issues facing our village,” Mr. LeBire said. “Together, I have no doubt that we will succeed in moving our community forward.”

St. Lawrence County sheriff’s deputies charged Mr. Currier with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor; tampering with physical evidence, a felony; and failure to comply with a police officer after deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the mayor’s vehicle Tuesday afternoon on Center Street.

Released on appearance tickets, Mr. Currier was found in possession of about one gram of crack cocaine, which the sheriff’s office alleges the mayor threw out of his passenger window, resulting in the evidence tampering charge.

County officials, including District Attorney Gary M. Pasqua, Sheriff Brooks J. Bigwarfe and agents from the Massena office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, held a press conference Wednesday afternoon in Canton, where they confirmed an investigation into Mr. Currier’s alleged drug involvement began a “few months ago” and that he was at the center of the investigation. An initial tip and subsequent undercover operation, Mr. Pasqua said, have so far culminated in Tuesday’s singular arrest.

The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information about Mr. Currier’s alleged activity should call the St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force Confidential Tip Line, 1-800-287-DRUG, or submit a tip on the sheriff’s office mobile app.

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