PUTNAM COUNTY, N.Y. -- Robert Langley is the new sheriff in town.
After counting absentee ballots, Langley, a Democrat, was officially declared the winner over longtime Sheriff Don Smith Tuesday night by 342 votes. Going into the counting, Langley led by 335 votes.
Smith had been sheriff since 2002. On Monday, Langley said voters wanted change.
"Voters wanted someone with a different perspective of how they can address certain issues that are affecting our country," Langley said.
As Putnam County Sheriff, Langley said he intends to address the opioid crisis. He said there are too many addicts incarcerated that are not getting the treatment they need. He said the county needs to establish a drug court in lower level courts.
Langley said he would also like to implement community policing in Putnam.
"I want police to develop open relationships," Langley said. "I want them to get out of their car and be a part of the community. It makes everyone safer."
In his last term, Smith was plagued by his feud and lawsuit with former Putnam District Attorney Adam Levy, the son of TV's "Judge Judy.'
Smith agreed to pay Levy $150,000 after he apologized for saying Levy publicly interfered in his investigation of Levy's personal trainer Alexander Hossu for raping a 13-year-old girl. Smith agreed to personally contribute $25,000 to settle the lawsuit, while the Putnam County Legislator voted to pay $125,000.
Last month it was revealed Smith sent letters to various government officials, including Attorney General Eric Schneidermann and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, asking them to charge Levy with illegally housing an undocumented immigrant or to take over his criminal cases.
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