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Jefferson County corrections officer arrested

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A Jefferson County corrections officer has been arrested by state police on charges related to a domestic dispute, according to a Sheriff’s Department news release.

The officer, William J. Simpson, 48, of 11345 Ayles Road, town of Henderson, was charged with second-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child, according to Undersheriff Paul W. Trudeau.

Mr. Simpson is accused of throwing an ax at his girlfriend, according to state police. A child at the residence called 911, police said.

Mr. Simpson was arraigned in Pamelia Town Court and released on his own recognizance.

He has been suspended without pay pending further disciplinary action, according to a news release from Jefferson County Sheriff John P. Burns.

Mr. Simpson has been working at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building since November 2006, when he was hired as a corrections officer, Mr. Trudeau said.

According to Times archives, Mr. Simpson was arrested three times from 1995 to 1999.

He was charged with second-degree harassment in 1995, third-degree assault in 1998 and DWI in 1999.

Mr. Simpson is the second corrections officer to be charged with assault in an off-duty incident in less than a year.

Mark H. Kellogg, Adams, a 20-year veteran of the department, was charged Dec. 6 by state police with third-degree assault in connection with a fight at Dragon Lord Pub, Adams Center.

The two arrests are part of a string of incidents involving members of the Sheriff’s Department accused of misconduct:

n Deputy Adam B. Hallett, cited by Mr. Burns with having an open alcoholic beverage container in his patrol car and suspended for a period without pay in January.

n Deputy Matthew A. Vaughn, who was the subject of departmental disciplinary charges for not following proper protocol when responding to the scene involving Deputy Hallett. An independent investigation into the incident continues.

n Undersheriff Andrew R. Neff, who retired early this year after being suspended with pay during a state police investigation into accusations that he sent a convicted felon lewd photos using a department cellphone. The investigation continues.

n Detective Steven C. Cote, the subject of a $50 million lawsuit alleging that he deceived a female deputy into posing nude for photographs as part of a pedophilia investigation.

n Deputy James C. Randall, who served a 60-day suspension for having a relationship with a woman with a criminal record, in violation of department policy.

A call to Mr. Burns seeking comment was not returned Monday afternoon.

Times staff writer Craig Fox contributed to this report.

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