State Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco will meet with Cattaraugus County legislators Friday to discuss his investigation into the death of Kevin King of Olean.
Legislature Chairman Don B. Winship has called a special meeting for 10 a.m. County legislators have been urging Vacco to enter the investigation into the death, which followed a beating outside a coffee shop in Olean last Oct. 23.
King's family members and many supporters have been critical of an investigation by the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department and the case presented to a grand jury by District Attorney Michael P. Nevins. The grand jury did not indict anyone in the death.
Two weeks ago, legislators asked Vacco to enter the case.
Winship said Vacco refused then, saying he could only enter the case at the direction of Gov. Pataki or through a request from the district attorney.
Nevins made the request Tuesday and said Vacco officially agreed to allow Nevins to designate Vacco and his assistant, Russell P. Buscaglia, as assistant county attorneys.
"Nevins has no reservations about asking Vacco to join but does not wish to set a precedent," Winship told legislators Wednesday.
"Vacco tells me he has agreed to enter the case and feels he has an obligation to the people who elected him. His activity will begin in two days. As to the degree of his activity I can't say."
Winship telephoned Vacco in Albany again to confirm the attorney general intends to investigate the case and announced to legislators that Vacco will meet with them Friday.
Randy King, the victim's brother, on Wednesday said he was notified of the meeting and plans to attend.
Nevins, reached at his home Wednesday evening, said he had not been notified of the meeting Friday but would attend if invited.
In a related development, County Judge Michael L. Nenno Wednesday signed a show-cause order for Nevins, seeking permission from King's family to exhume Kevin King's body for a second autopsy.
King said although family members initially approved the action, the permission may be withheld until they determine who will oversee the exhumation -- Nevins or Vacco.
"I gave my permission under the assumption it would be handled by the state," King said. "We have to take this out of the hands of the county entirely. The big question now is the level of involvement of the state and where do we go from here." Later in the legislative session, several legislators began to push for an additional resolution asking Pataki to request Vacco and state police to investigate King's death.