Douglas H. Naylon, the central figure in a corruption probe that rocked Erie County government, was jailed Monday for probation violations by a judge who had refused earlier efforts to have him freed from court oversight.
State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia sentenced Naylon, 49, to six months in jail for violating his three-year probation by making unauthorized trips to Utah to be with his injured son.
Buscaglia previously had rejected efforts by probation officials to have Naylon released from court supervision or have the case transferred to Utah.
Buscaglia cited a psychologist's confirmation that "long-standing" emotional problems suffered by Naylon's now-19-year-old son were a key factor in the defendant's frequent unauthorized trips. But he said he felt the probation he ordered in 2004 was "appropriate."
Naylon, a former county highway supervisor, will spend the time in the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden. He could be out in four months if he behaves.
"I guarantee I will be a good, good prisoner," Naylon said before being handcuffed and taken away.
On Nov. 15, 2005, Buscaglia put Naylon on probation on his misdemeanor plea for illegally using a county-owned tractor-trailer for his real estate development business.
Last week, Naylon pleaded guilty to violating that probation by making trips to Utah to be with his son, described by attorney Michael P. Stuermer as having suffered a "near-fatal accident" in November 2006. Neither Naylon nor Stuermer last week offered an explanation for Naylon's trips to Utah before the accident.
But on Monday -- after Deputy District Attorney Mark A. Sacha called Naylon a "model violator" -- Stuermer gave the judge a sealed report from the son's psychologist. Buscaglia cited a letter from the psychologist describing the younger Naylon's "long-standing" emotional problems that led to the November 2006 injuries and Naylon's frequent trips.
Both Stuermer and Buscaglia noted that Naylon had received Probation Department permission for some of the trips -- though not the judicial permission that was required.
In fact, Buscaglia noted that he had specifically rejected efforts by probation officials to get the probation lifted because Naylon had paid his $2,870 fine or have the case transferred to Utah so Naylon legally could be with his son.
"I realize I was wrong" in not requesting permission from Buscaglia to travel, Naylon told the judge. "I take full responsibility for what I did wrong, and I will not let you down again."
Sacha, the prosecutor, accused the Probation Department of failing to adequately supervise Naylon. On Aug. 19, 2005, Daniel M. Sutton, then 36, of Clarence Center, who worked under Naylon at the East Aurora garage, began a six-month jail term on his felony conviction on a variety of charges linked to his theft of two county heavy-equipment tires.
Sutton and Naylon were the only suspects indicted by a special Erie County grand jury that looked into the equipment thefts that rocked the administration of County Executive Joel A. Giambra.