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Vehicle use policy is set in place by board

Less than six weeks after the arrest of Evans Town Supervisor Robert Catalino II on drunken-driving charges, the Town of Evans has a vehicle use policy.

Not that it was aimed at Catalino.

"They're pretty standard policies," said Councilwoman Kathleen Bartus, who introduced the policy. "There's nothing there to pinpoint anyone."

Nonetheless, Bartus said the subject likely wouldn't have arisen before Catalino's arrest -- while driving a town car.

"It makes you look at things and correct what should be taken care of," she said.

The measure was approved unanimously. It is apparently the town's first vehicle policy, other than for police vehicles.

The policy calls for town vehicles to be used exclusively for town business, prohibits operation by non-employees and prohibits leaving the town, except on town business.

It also requires the vehicle to be parked in an assigned storage area when not in use, with "pool vehicles" to be parked at Town Hall.

Employees must sign out vehicles at the Police Department dispatch office, recording odometer readings, and do likewise when they return.

"If someone comes back late from a meeting, the Police Department is open 24 hours, so they can log it in," said Bartus.

When Catalino was arrested earlier this year, it was about 3 a.m., and he was on Route 5 in Brant, not far from the Evangola Beach turnoff.

A state trooper reported clocking Catalino driving 73 mph in a 45-mph zone. After failing a field sobriety test, Catalino was charged with driving while intoxicated and taken to the State Police barracks in North Collins. His blood-alcohol content measured 0.17, more than twice the legal limit, troopers said.

The vehicle was impounded.

The policy was approved quietly Wednesday night at the end of the Town Board meeting, although it wasn't on the agenda.

Bartus said that the measure was inadvertently left off the agenda and that the board had promised at its previous meeting to vote on it. There had been only three members present at the previous meeting, and they wanted the full board to vote, she said.

Catalino's traffic case, meanwhile, is pending.

e-mail: eploetz@buffnews.com

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