Dutcher Demonstration: Greene residents roll out vacuums

By Erika Mahoney

May 2, 2014 Updated May 2, 2014 at 11:41 PM EDT

Greene, NY (WBNG Binghamton) After Greene's police chief was arrested and ousted by its village board, some residents gathered Friday night to show their support for the former top cop.

But it wasn't just people lining the street in front of village hall, there were also some vacuums.

According to former Greene Police Chief Steve Dutcher, his arrest was the result of a dispute over a village-owned vacuum.

Dutcher told Action News he took it home frequently to clean his patrol car, which he was also permitted to take home.

So on Friday night, residents brought their own vacuums and said they would donate them to solve the problem; one man even drove a vacuum in on the back of his motorcycle.

Even though the residents said they were making a point, they agree there's a bigger issue among the chief and the village's mayor and board.

Dutcher was not present at the demonstration, but previously told Action News he's a victim of an administration that is simply seeking power.

Dutcher's father attended the demonstration and agreed with his son: "There were differing opinions voiced between him and the mayor over issues relating to town business and it would appear certainly to me and most others, the mayor wants to make a point that you don't publicly disagree with me," John Dutcher said.

Dutcher also previously told Action News he and the village administration have been in disagreement over the relocation of the police department to the village's fire department on North Canal Street.

The organizer of Friday's demonstration said the goal of the gathering was to show Dutcher how much support he has.

"He's here for us all the time, he's here to protect and to serve for us," organizer Heather Montgomery said. " And, you know, I just feel we deserve a better explanation as a village and he deserves a better explanation as the chief of police."

Dutcher resigned from the village before his arrest because of a previous suspension in late March over an undisclosed matter.

After his arrest, he rescinded his resignation to fight the village, but the village board denied that, and approved his resignation instead.

According to New York State Police, Dutcher faces a petty larceny and harassment.

Dutcher said the harassment charge was previously resolved and he will fight the petty larceny charge.

Greene Mayor Phill Brown did not return a call seeking comment.