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Former Erie County highway supervisor Douglas H. Naylon avoided jail today in the politically turbulent case involving abuses of the public trust.

Naylon, who pleaded guilty in August to two misdemeanors for the unauthorized use of a county-owned tractor trailer, will serve three years' probation and pay $2,870 in fines, restitution and fees.

Naylon was a key figure investigated by a special grand jury and other county and criminal justice agencies for payroll, purchasing and personnel violations associated with the county's Aurora Highway District.

State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia sentenced Naylon to three years' probation for each of the misdemeanors, with the terms running concurrently.

Buscaglia also fined him $1,000 for each of the misdemeanor charges, the maximum allowable by law. Naylon also will pay $750 in restitution to the county.

As a condition of Naylon's probation, Buscaglia said, he may not hold public office or any position with any public entity.

In court, Naylon expressed regret that he caused his family "embarrassment and grief" because of his mistakes and asked that he be given a chance to start over.

Later, he said that under his leadership, the Aurora garage accomplished more work for taxpayers than had been completed in the past 20 years. He also said he's been victimized by "political turf wars" and some county employees who didn't want to adhere to the county's high standards.

Naylon's family members expressed happiness and relief at the verdict, contending that an unjustifiable amount of public attention has been given a case with such low-level criminal findings.

Family members of individuals who worked under Naylon, however, were angered and disappointed that Naylon received no jail time.

"We're still waiting for justice," said Gale Wrobel, whose husband was transferred to a distant highway district as a result of disciplinary measures enacted by Naylon.


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