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office to accept the position, while the retiring, ization and government by looking into the writteu sheriff performs the duties as deputy and thus Constitution, and would not be obliged to look evades the law. I have known such cases precisely, through scattered volumes of statute law, and reand it was in reference to that class of cases that ports of judicial decisions, as we now are obliged to this clause was inserted; and if the geutleman will do. I understand the office of a Constitution to be take pains to refer to several of the Constitutions of to organize the government in its various departthe States, all of which I have examined in regard ments and put it in working order; and it should to this matter, he will find the same provisions. be done so clearly and distinctly that there shall Now, if there be any good reason for making the be no danger of collision or friction in the operasheriff ineligible for a second term, the same rea- tion of the government in its different departson demands the provision under consideration, ments, and so that the rights of the people may be which prevents him from doing indirectly what protected. If we have a written Constitution at all lie cannot do directly If there is no occasion for it ought to be as perfect as possible upon all the preventing him from holding the office the second matters of which it treats, and the Convention time there is no occasion for this, but if there is has found a difficulty in this regard from the reason for one there is reason for the other. I commencement. Committees have carefully elabdesire to make one or two other suggestions in orated and prepared their articles and presented this connection, which I intended to have made at them to the Convention, and if properly prepared the outset, but was prevented by some other gen- one section depends upon another. They must tleman obtaining the floor before I could do so. be viewed together and compared in order to Il gentlemen will take the pains to look at the understand the whole system. Amendments former Constitutions they will find that in the have been presented here by members of the Constitution of 1777 there was scarcely any atten. Convention by wholesale, without comparison of tion paid to town and county officers. There was one section with another. These amendments, no town and county system of government estab. perhaps, have affected every part of the article lished by that Constitution. Most of these officers under consideration; and amendment after existed under the English common-law system, amendment has been presented and adopted until and the Constitution simply recognized their ex. finally, when we got through, we had a regular istence, but made no provision, or but slight pro- piece of patch-work. Now I trust that will not vision, in regard to them. In the next Constitu- be done in this case. If a better article can be tion, 1821, come advance was made upon this suggested the committee will be as happy as any subject--some effort was made create other members of the Convention to accept it. system
and incorporate it into the But if it is to be amended let it be so amended as Constitution; but very slight advance, however, not to interfere with the harmony of the whole was made upon the Constitution of 1777. In the article. These are all the suggestions I have to present Constitution of 1846, there was consider. offer at present. able advance made upon the former Constitutions Mr. POND—Is an amendment now in order? --there was a partial system adopted and incor The CHAIRMAN–The Chair is of the opinion porated into the Constitution; but that was not that it is. complete, for while it referred to, and provided for, Mr. POND—I offer the following amendment: the election of some of the leading officers, it left Amend the amendment by striking out the others without provision, to the discretion of the words "and be ineligible for the next three Legislature. Now, it was the effort of the com- years after the termination of their offices," and mittee to incorporate into this article the existing insert in lieu thereof the words “during the term provisions of tho present Constitution, together for which they are elected.” with the provisions of law on that subject, in one Mr. POND - It seems to me, sir, that this harmonious whole, so that our written Constitu- prohibition or inhibition upon the sheriff from tion shall present a complete system of town and being re-elected is not necessary to be retained county organization and government. If the com- in the Constitution. The object of it undoubtmittee have been successful, this article, as a edly was to provide against a sheriff using his whole, presents a complete system. I make office and the power which it gave him at a time these suggestions simply for the purpose of when imprisonment for debt existed, to re-eleet showing that if any essential alteration is made himself. As the law now is, there is no such in auy one of the sections, it may be necessary necessity any more than there is for the prohibito make a new article, because the various section of the re-election of any other officer, or mak. tions are interwoven-one is dependent upon the ing him ineligible to re-election; I know of no other. It takes the whole to make one perfect, reason why à sheriff, if he be a good officer, symmetrical, harmonious system. Now, the com- should not have the benefit of a re-election in niittee have no pride in this matter; they only case the people want to re-elect him-in case he desire to get the best Constitution that can be is a man peculiarly fitted to fill the office and obtained, but it is to be hoped that if amendments discharge its duties with fidelity, and to the are found necessary, they will be so incorporated universal satisfaction of the people.
I know as not to mar the harmony of the whole. We of no reason that applies to a sheriff at this have granted to the Legislature the power to pro- day that does not apply to every elective office. vide for new officers, and to regulate the election I therefore move to strike out the prohibition. and appointment of officers not otherwise pro The question was then put on the amendment vided for in this Constitution. If these provisions of Mr. Pond and declared lost. should be adopted, a person would be able to Mr. COOKE-I offer the following amend. ascertain our system of town and county organ-ment:
Amend by striking out "they may be required provision of the Constitution of 1846 is one that by law to renew their security from time to time, we have lived under. I never heard of a proposiand in default of giving such new security, their tion in my life, until this report came in, to the offices shall be deemed vacant. But the county effect that it was desirable in any sense whatever shall never be made responsible for the acts of to alter it, and I doubt if a man can be found here the sheriff.
on this floor who ever did hear of any such thing. My only objection to this clause is, that it This, in regard to the re-election of the sheriff, 18 a is unnecessary, and deals with matters that matter, in my judgment, just like an election of ought to be the subject of legislative action anybody else. But it is there, and the people have rather than of constitutional provision. The conformed to it, and are apparently content with it; Legislature, while they may provide for security I have no inclination to disturb it, and I submit to be given by the sheriff on taking possession of that when we have an article or section which his office may, with equal propriety, provide for has existed for twenty years and upward, and po renewing that security. The provision in man has ever complained that it was wrong, or the Constitution as contained in the sub- ought to be altered; we had better let that alone. stitute, contemplates that the Legislature Sir, if there is anything in the way in this country shall provide for renewing the security of the in regard to the adoption of the Constitution we sheriff. The Legislature was required to provide shall frame, it will be found to be in the end, that for taking security originally from the sheriff, and we are tinkering too much with it. We ought to let I claim that there is no more necessity for incor. things alone tbat are right; and I shall insist porating this provision for renewed security than upon it that it is better worth the while of this confor making provision for the original bond. Now, vention to stand by the Constitution of 1846 and in regard to the other clause, that the county shall preserve every word in it, unless they can show never be made responsible for the acts of the some good reason for changing it-that it works sheriff, I consider that wholly unnecessary. I wrong and ought to be changed; unless the genknow of no principle of law by which, neither can tlemen can show that, I shall be in favor of letting I imagice any case, where the county would be it alone. Now, in regard to the balance of this made responsible for any official act of the sheriff. report the committee have labored and unless it is by virtue of the statute that makes have performed their labors well; but I the county liable for damage done by riot; I should think that with a Constitution believe, in that case, the law makes the county from 1777 to 1867, in which you will not find liable, in certain cases, for the omission of the any provision in regard to supervisors or town sheriff. My recollection of that statute is, that clerks, or town officers, it is a bad time to begin in case of damage done by a riot, if a party has in 1867 to put them all in it, fixing the terms of called upon the sheriff to protect his property office and making provision in regard to the town against mob violence and he is not protected, he officers who are now established and regulated by has an action against the county for damages. law, and always have been; to break up a system
Mr. GREELEY-Before voting on this I would perfect in itself, by incorporating that law in the like to know some reason, if there is any, for Constitution. This cutting off the power of the this provision, which says a county shall never Legislature to regulate according to the public be made responsiblo for the acts of the sheriff. will, had better be left out of the Constitution, For instance, here is an officer chosen by the peo- and I intend to vote for every amendment that prople of the county; they know him, or they ought poses to strike out this amendment, and to adhere to know him; they ought to know that he is respon- to the Constitution of 1846. I believe that is sible and fit for his office. I, living a thousand miles right, and I think the more we conform to the away, send a debt to be collected, knowing nothing Constitution of 1846 in this respect, the better of this sheriff. Now, suppose that sheriff collects we shall find it. my debt, gets the money, and runs away. I want Mr. BARKER-I wish to make one sugges. to know if the people are not responsible? Their tion, that when the Constitution provides that duty is to see that that officer is fit for his posi- the sheriff shall keep his security good in the tion, and that his bonds are sufficient. Why we manner required, he being a constitutional officer it should put in this contrary clause I cannot com- may be questionable whether the Legislature has prehend.
the power to declare his office vacant if he fails Mr. RATHBUN-I am satisfied from the argu- to comply with the provisions embraced in the ments of many of the delegates, that they are for- Constitution; the provision is inserted here so gelful of what the Constitution has in it now, and the question cannot be raised in the courts. In I was until I picked it up. I find this in it: my judgment it is wise to retain this constitutional "Sheriffs shall hold no other office, and be ineligi. provision, so that his office may become vacant ble for the next three years after the termination if he does not comply with the provision in referof their offices. They may be required by law, toence to filing security sufficient to satisfy the repew their security from time to time, and in de- public officers who are authorized to approve it. fault of giving such new security, their offices Mr. DALY - I desire to say in addition to shall be deemed vacant. But the county shall what has been said by the gentleman from Chau. never be made responsible for the acts of the tauqua [Mr. Barker), that the Constitution of sheriff.” That is the Constitution of 1846.
1821 contains exactly the same provision as the Mr. COOKE-I would say to the gentlemapope now reported; so that for forty-six years we that I drew my amendment on the Constitution of have lived under that provision without any com1846. I deemed it upnecessary then.
plaint being made against it. I will add that Mr. RATHBUN-Now, Mr. Chairman, that this provision was carefully considered in the
Convention of 1821, as the question of electing, county towns outside of the city, and the city sheriffs then came up for the first time.
pays about seven-eighths of the whole tax upon The cuestion was then put on the amendment the county. So that we would have this state of of Mr. Cooke, and it was declared lost,
facts, we would have twenty-five supervisors repMr. SCHUMAKER-I offer the following resenting one-eighth of the taxation and one-third amendment:
of the population, and we would have two-thirds After the word "defeuse,” in the last line of of the population and seven-eighths of the laxation section one, add “and a trial by a jury of the represented by thirteen. Again, sir, the provision truth of the charges in a court of record in the in respect to the powers conferred upon the board colinty where he shall reside."
of supervisors does not meet my approbation. I I do not propose to say much at this time in offer. think that that part of the business more properly ing the amendment. But I have not yet heard of belongs to the Committee upon the Powers and an objection to it, but whenever I have heard dis. Duties of the Legislature, and I prefer the procussed within the last few years this summary vision which is to be found in our present Constimanner of trying the character of public officers tution in that respect. It will be found at the by the Governor it has generally been disapproved. last end of the third article, which says that the I ask in this amendment that a public officer, Legislature shall have power to confer upon the before he shall be removed from his position, board of supervisors such powers of local legislabefore he shall be disgraced before the world, tion as they shall deem proper. For these before he shall have his character blasted as a reasons, sir, I shall support the amendment propublic officer and as a private citizen, he shall posed by the gentleman from Onondaga (Mr. at least have the privilege of meeting his Andrews). accusers face to face and of cross-examining the Mr. SMITH - I desire to ask the gentleman a witnesses against him; that he shall have guar- question. I wish to inquire what details he finds anteed to him by the Constitution the same priv. in the first section of the article now under conilege in protecting his public character as he now sideration that are not found in the article of the has in any issue that may arise in regard to his old Constitution. personal character or property.
Mr. MASTEN -I spoke of the article reported The question was then put upon the amend generally. I alluded to the third and fourth ment of Mr. Schumaker and it was declared lost. sections as particularly objectionable in that
Mr. MASTEN-Mr. Chairman, I favor the respect. amendment of the gentleman from Onondaga Mr. PAIGE-I understand that the sub. [Mr. Andrews]. It substitutes the first section stitute is offered for the first section of the of the tenth article of the present Constitutiou article in the present Constitution. I have no for that reported by the committee; and I go objection to that article, with one exception. further. I am in favor of substituting the whole In the article reported, the power of the Governor of the tenth section of the present Constitution in in the removal of incumbents of offices is restrictplace of the section reporied by the committee. ed, which I think is an improvement upon the The error into which the committee has fallen, it old Constitution. It reads thus : "The Govern. seems to me, is that they have gone too much or may remove any officer in this section men. into detail. The Constitution never should deal tioned for incapacity, neglect of duty, malfeas. with details. It should state certain leading and auce, intemperance, turpitude, or crime." That controlling principles of government in clear lan. restriction is not contained in the Constitution of guage, and the details should be left to the Legis- 1846, and in high party times the Governor may lature; otherwise we will have an instrument remove an officer simply for political reasons. that is not sufficiently pliable for the use for I think, therefore, in that respect the article rewhich it is designed. Now, to show that the ported by the committee is preferable to the tenth committee has fallen into this mistake, I would article of the old Constitution. call the attention of gentlemen to the subsequent Mr. BICKFORD-The article reported, it strikes sections of the report—to the third and seventh me, is not only preferable for the reason mensections ; and I do this by way of illustration of tioned by the gentleman from Schenectady (Mr. the position which I take in respect to the first Paige), hut I insist that it is an important provis. section. The third section provides, sir, that ion contained in the article as reported, that sherthere shall be one supervisor elected from iff's shall not be eligible for under sheriffs for every organized town.
that the term succeeding which they hold their in the latter part of the report of the office. It is a complaint which has come to committee there is a section conferring power my ears (whether it has come to the ears of other upon the Legislature to make some alteration in gentlemen or not I do no know), that there is a this respect, but until the Legislature shall act, system of "ride and tie," as it is called. For but one supervisor can be elected from each of example, one man runs for sheriff, and appoints a the towns. By way of example, I will take certain man under sheriff. For the next term, the county in which I reside. In that county the former under sheriff is a candidate for sheriff, we have iwenty-five towns, and we have a city and if elected, appoints as under sheriff the man with thirteen wards. If a ward should be con- who held the office of sheriff before. As it strued to mean a town, then if this report stands now in the Constitution of 1846 it is cershall become a part of the Constitution we would tainly liable to this objection and if there is any have thirty-eight supervisors, twenty-five elected reason why the sheriff should not be eligible to from the county towns and thirteen from the city. re-election, it is certainly a reason why he should The city, sir, has twice the population of the not be eligible to the office of under sheriff. There
are strong reasons indeed why he should not be officer a copy of the charges against him, and an eligible for re-election. The iufluence of his opportunity of being heard in his defense. office may be exerted in a great many ways to Mr. LOEW-I move that section 2 of article secure the election of one who will appoint him 10 of the Constitution of 1846, be substituted for under sheriff.
the second section of the article as reported by Mr. POND-Will the gentleman allow me to the committee. By the substitution of the first ask him a question ?
section of article 10 of the old Constitution, for Mr. BICKFORD-Certainly.
the first section of the article under consideration, Mr. POND-Is not the reason just as strong this second section which provides for the appointthat he should be ineligible to any other elective ment of a district attorney for each county by the office-could not his power be used just as well Governor, has become entirely uppecessary, inagto secure his election to any other office ?
much as the election of that officer is provided Mr. BICKFORD– I think not.
for by the first section of the 10th article of the Mr. CONGER-I hardly think it to be a fair Coostitution of 1846, as now adopted in lieu of criticism which has been passed upon the first the first section of the article reported by the section of this article as reported by the commit. committee. The committee, for some reason best tee, that it is prolix, or that, on comparing it with known to themselves, have entirely omitted this the corresponding article in the Constitu- second section of the old Constitution, in the tion of 1846, it should be considered, in point article reported by them. I cannot understand of style, at a discount. In the first place, there why this was done. They say that they wanted has been a remarkable degree of care in keep. to limit and restrict the power of the Legislature ing this article closely in harmony with the in regard to local matters, and transfer it to the fundamental ideas of the corresponding article local authorities, and yet in some respects they of the Constitution of 1846. I see an improve have in this article given the Legislature more ment in this. That section, as recommended power, than the Constitution of 1846 did. by the committee, provides that besides the sheriff, | Section 2 of article 10 of the Constitution of who is the only officer,except the county clerk, men- 1846 provides : tioned in article ten of the Constitution of 1846, “All county officers whose election or appointcounty treasurers and county clerks shall be ment is not provided for by this Constitution shall elected by the people to their offices, and be elected by the electors of the respective counnot left subject to legislative whim or appoint. ties, or appointed by the boards of supervisors or ment. Now, if gentlemen who admire the Coo- other county authorities, as the Legislature shall stitution of 1846 will look carefully at the second direct. All city, town and village ofticers, whose section of article 10, they will find that the provision election or appointment is not provided for by this in regard to other officers not epecially designated Constitution, shall be elected by the electors of in the Constitution of 1846 is, to say the least of such cities, towns and villages, or of some divis. it, if not obscure, prepared in a manner which ion thereof, or appointed by such authorities would meet the criticism of the honorable gentle thereof as the Legislature shall designate for that man from Onondaga (Mr. Andrews). I say this purpose. All other officers whose election or much, Mr, Chairman, because I thiok it is due to appointment is not provided for by this Constitu. fairness and common sense of propriety that a lion, and all officers whose offices may hereafter be committee who comes in here, having discharged created by law, shall be elected by the people, or its duty with sedulous care, and baving departed appointed, as the Legislature may direct." in but one single iota from the corresponding arti-! Thus giving to the people of the respectivo cle of the Constitution of 1846, not having fol- counties or towns, as the case may be, or to the lowed the example of other committees, who local authorities the power to appoint or elect proposed such radical and sweeping changes, all those officers, for whose election or appointthat that committee should receive at the ment the Constitution did not provide. This prohauds of the Convention an impartial and vision, as I said before, is entirely omitted in tho discriminating judgment. I do not think that article reported by the committee. The nearest wholesale denunciation is due, and I shall vote for approach to it I find in section four, which gives retaining this section, if for no other reason than the Legislature almost unlimited power in respect this: that it provides, in the same clause in which to those officers. It says: it provides for the continuance of the office of “All county and towe officers (except judicial) sheriff, clerks of counties, as elective offices, also which may be in existence on the adoption of for the election by the people of the officers of this Constitution shall thereafter continue, with county treasurer and county clerk.
the powers, duties and incidents thereto perThe question was put on the amendment of Mr. taining, until abrogated or modified by law; Andrews, and it was declared carried, on a divi- and the incumbents of said offices, and also sion, by a vote of 53 to 33.
the several officers mentioned in this article The SECRETARY proceeded to read the sec- shall retain the powers and perform the duties ond section as follows:
I pertaining to their respective offices at the time SEC. 2. There shall be appointed in each county of the adoption of this Constitution until by the Governor, a district Attorney, who shall the same are changed or modified by law. hold his office for the term of three years, unless The Legislature may, by general laws, create such soouer removed by competent authority. The new town and county officers, not inconsistent Governor may remove the district attorney for with the provisions of this Constitution, as the incapacity, neglect of duty, malversation, intem- public weal shall require, abrogate such towr. and perance, turpitude, or crime, first giving to such couuty offices as are not specifically established
by this article, regulate the election of all officers | shall be elected by the electors of such town, or named in this article and provide for the election appointed by such authorities thereof as the or appointment of such as are not herein named, Legislature shall designate for that purpose. prescribe the powers and duties of all county and Mr. BARKER—The object of this substitute, town officers, except judicial; provide for the giv- as offered by me, is to cover the provisions ing of security by any of said officers for the of sections 2 and 3. Section 2 has become faithful discharge of their duties, provide for the inoperative by the vote of the committee making removal of all county and town officers, etc." the office of district attorney elective. The
Thus it will be seen that this section gives the amendment which I offer provides for the Legislaiure power to abrogate any town or county mode and manner of electing county and town office which may be in existence on the adoption officers. It does not in any wise create town or of the Constitution; and to change and modify county officers. It leaves it entirely for the Lego the powers and duties of the incumbents of such islature to define what officers shall exist in the offices, as well as of the officers mentioned in counties and the towns, as it exists in the present said article, whenever it may see fit to do so. It Constitution. I have taken the exact language further gives the Legislature power to create new of section 2, omitting the provision for electing town and county offices, and to provide for the officers for cities and villages, as that is not em. election or appointment of the officers who are to braced in this report, but is reforred to another fill them. As I have already observed, the sec. committee. I also omit the portion of the second tion of the old Constitution, to which I have re- section which relates to the appointment of other ferred, provides that such new officers shall be officers in these words: "All other officers whose elected by the electors of the counties, towns, election or appointment is not provided for oy this etc., or appointed by the local authorities, as the Constitution, and all officers whose offices may Legislature may direct; whereas, this fourth hereafter be created by law, shall be elected by section of the article of the committee leaves it the people, or appointed as the Legislature may entirely in the discretion of the Legislature as to direct." who shall have the power of appointment, and in Mr. PAIGE-I suggest that the substitute fact the Legislature may, if they choose, make the should embrace the whole section. If the appointments themselves. Sir, under the section second paragraph of the second section is of the old Constitution I have offered as a sub- stricken out, it will make, in the discretion of the stitute, or, rather, notwithstanding it, many laws Legislature, city, town and village officers whose have been passed which are obnoxious to a great election or appointment is not provided for in this portion of our people. Yet, notwithstanding that, Constitution, elected by the people or appointed as I greatly prefer it to the fourth section reported the Legislature may direct. . It would be in entire by the committee, which I hope will be struck contravention of the provision as contained in the out when it shall be reached.
Constitution of 1846, and against the general Mr. GOULD- Mr. Chairman, are there two expression of the people in favor of the election amendments pending now?
of city, town and village officers. It would leave The CHAIRMAN — Only one.
those officers in the discretion of the Legislature, Mr. GOULD- Then I offer an amendment. to be elected or appointed. But if the gentleman
The SECRETARY proceeded to read the amend will take the whole section as it stands, there will ment, as follows:
be no objection to it. SEC. 2. There shall be appointed in each county Mr. BARKER—I appreciate the suggestion of by the judges of the court of general sessions of my friend, but at the same time that properly bethe peace therein, a district attorney, who shall longs to another article of the Constitution which hold his office during the pleasure of such court. we are framing. We are considering the creation
Mr. ALVORD-I would ask for information of town and county officers other than judicial from the Chair how the gentleman from Columbia their election, appointment, tenure of office, com[Mr. Gould) can offer this amendment when we pensation and duties. Now, it seems to me after have provided by the first section which we have we provide for this class of officers, there should adopted for the election of the district attorney be some general provision fixing the mode and by the people. He certainly cannot be in order manner of their election other than towu and in offering it until that question is reconsidered. county officers, and that would embrace the para. Therefore this amendment, it seems to me, is out graph which is referred to, and upon which a of order.
judicial construction has been had, and which er. The CHAIRMAN—The point of order is well cited considerable popular comment at the time. taken.
However, if it is proper to add that, I have no Mr. BARKER-I offer an amendment by way objection if it should appear in the Constitution in of substitute for the section:
this article. One word further. The object of • The SECRETARY proceeded to read the introducing this amendment at this time is to amendment:
call the attention of the committee to the improSubstitute for section two:
priety of making town officers constitutional offiAll county officers whose election or appoint- cers; that should be left for the Legislature to ment is not provided for by this Constitution shall create such officers as shall appear to be necessabe elected by the electors of the respective coun. ry from time to time, define their duties and fix ties, or appointed by the boards of supervisors or their tenure of office, and only having a constituother county authorities, as the Legislature shall tional provision providing for the mode and mandirect. All town officers whose election or ap- ner of their election. Now, it is provided in secpointment is not provided for by this Constitution 'tion 3, for which I design to have this substitu.