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Thu., Oct. 8
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Gouverneur mayor resigns


GOUVERNEUR — Christopher A. Miller resigned as mayor Wednesday afternoon after a face-to-face meeting with Deputy Mayor Ronald P. McDougall.

“We talked about the future of Gouverneur and issues,” Mr. McDougall said. “We had a good conversation. We came to a consensus, best for all.”

Mr. Miller did not return a call for comment.

He has had a tumultuous tenure since he beat Dorothy L. Vorce for the mayor’s position last fall. After his election, residents learned he was a felon.

In North Carolina, he had misdemeanor counts of driving while license revoked, a felony count of possession of a schedule II drug and a felony count of forgery for which he served probation. In New York, he had pleaded guilty to petit larceny and criminal trespass and was on probation.

After he took office, he racked up a series of judgments, had his wages garnished and recently announced he was filing for bankruptcy. One of his land transactions, which involved a mortgage foreclosure, a lease/purchase option and a disputed $14,000 cash payment, resulted in a Gouverneur resident accusing him of fraud.

A month after Mr. Miller took office, Mrs. Vorce — who had been named part-time administrator — and Trustee Carl A. Petitto quit. An argument with a Department of Public Works employee with whom Mr. Miller had been romantically involved also spilled over into village Board of Trustees business.

After his meeting with Mr. McDougall, Mr. Miller submitted his resignation to the village clerk about 3 p.m. and it was notarized.

Trustee Charles W. Newvine said Mr. McDougall called to let him know that Mr. Miller had stepped down.

“I think his personal life just got in the way,” Mr. Newvine said. “The job just wasn’t getting done.”

The village board likely will discuss how it wants to proceed with the vacancy left by Mr. Miller’s departure when it meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Mr. McDougall said.

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