NORTH TROY - North Troy finally has its shot gun back after Steve Merrill was ordered by the court in January to return it.
Merrill was purportedly storing the village shot gun and sending the village bills for storage. Merrill, a former auditor for the village, acquired the shot gun after former village Police Chief Leniy Zenonos left his position. Merrill says he took the gun and stored it because the village office did not have a safe place to keep it.
Merrill billed the village storage fees, which in Nov. 6, 2010, according to Board of Trustees Chairman Jim Starr, totaled $525. Merrill wrote that if the bill was not paid within a week, the gun would be considered “abandoned property.” Merrill held the gun for approximately five years, Starr said.
Orleans Superior Court Judge Robert Bent on Jan. 6 ordered that Merrill return the gun. The order for summary judgment was part of a counter claim filed by the village in the case involving Merrill and North Troy resident Ray Hamel.
"Merrill has opposed the motion but has not cited any legal basis for his opposition, nor has alleged any specific or basis for an implied agreement that he be compensated for storing the gun,” Bent wrote in the judgment.
The gun is now on display in a cabinet at the North Troy Village Office.
Merrill and Hamel are suing the North Troy Village Board of Trustees over a number of claims, including allegations of violating open meeting and public records laws. The case is on-going and a status conference is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.