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Taber pleads not guilty to official misconduct <br> 5 other cases settled with guilty pleas

LITTLE VALLEY -- Dayton Highway Superintendent Brian J. Taber, 37, of South Dayton pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Cattaraugus County Court to first-degree falsifying business records, official misconduct and petit larceny.

He was arraigned before Judge Larry M. Himelein.

Authorities said town gas business records were falsified between Jan. 16 and March 10, 2009. Taber, who was indicted earlier this month, is accused of stealing gas from town highway barns on four occasions between July 2008 and July 2009, then changing the records to conceal the crime.

Five other cases were settled and pleas entered, according to District Attorney Lori Rieman. The following who pleaded guilty were scheduled for sentencing July 6:

Derek Brantley, 21, of Olean -- third-degree attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance, oxycodone, June 5 in the City of Olean.

Alex A. Craig, 21, of Olean -- second-degree attempted robbery, Aug. 22 in the City of Olean, where another person was injured.

Justun A. Vance, 24, no address -- second-degree attempted assault, Aug. 22 in the City of Olean, where a person was injured.
Michael P. Kelley, 48, of Olean -- third-degree attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance, heroin, March 28 in the City of Olean.

Christopher P. Emke, 25, of Randolph -- third-degree rape, March 1, 2009, in the Town of Randolph, involving a person younger than 17.

There was one sentencing before Himelein.

Patricia J. Lester, 52, of Delevan was sentenced to time served, five years' probation and restitution after being convicted of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, oxycodone, Dec. 4, 2007, in the Town of Yorkshire.

Rieman said several others pleaded guilty and will be sentenced July 6:

William J. Phillips, 35, of Portville -- second-degree attempted kidnapping and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, Sept. 15 in Portville, where he tried to abduct a person while displaying a weapon.

Kimberly A. Learn, 50, of Salamanca -- fourth-degree grand larceny, between 2008 and 2009, in the City of Salamanca, where she stole more than $1,000 from an elderly person.

Mario M. Castro, 26, of Franklinville -- second-degree attempted assault Feb. 8, in the Town of Franklinville, where he used a weapon attempting to cause injury.

Brandon J. Murphy, 17, of Olean -- third-degree burglary, between Nov. 27 and Dec. 6, in the City of Olean.

Elizabeth V. Smith, 24, of Salamanca -- third-degree grand larceny, between March 2007 and November 2008, at a NAFCO convenience store in Salamanca, where more than $50,000 was taken.

In another case, Michael T. Stafford, 26, of Perrysburg was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to driving while intoxicated and without a license Sept. 6 in the City of Salamanca, with a blood-alcohol count of .16 percent, twice the legal limit.

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