As we first broke several weeks ago, it appears that the appointment of Niagara County Sheriff Tom Beilein as the chairman of the State Commission of Correction has been derailed. Beilein had been tapped by former governor Eliot Spitzer to head the commission, garnering a salary of $101,600 per year during his four year appointment. However, Beilein's appointment had taken place prior to Spitzer's resignation and the well-documented escapades of now governor David Paterson. The appointment required the approval of the full state legislature, which had not happened when the Spitzer scandal broke.
It also appears that Beilein is a victim of the scandal involving Coroner James Joyce. Beilein's picture had been prominently displayed in a Wheatfield business which was later discovered to be a front for a prostitution ring. Joyce allegedly has a business relationship with one of the individuals charged with running the ring, Alan Tsui.
This is a sad day for Niagara County. The opportunity for our area to have someone as well respected as Tom Beilein in that position would be very good for our area. It certainly seems that Beilein, obviously through no fault of his own, was a victim of circumstances. We wish Beilein the best and hope that Gov. Paterson will reconsider his decision.