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Oneida County Department Head Facing Possible Charges

Starjournalnow.com

An Oneida County employee is facing possible charges after an investigation by the Sheriff's Department. County Forest Director John Bilogan is on paid suspension. The Sheriff's Department is recommending a charge of misconduct in public office.

WJFW TV reports Bilogan has worked for the Oneida County Forestry Department since 1991 and been its director since 2003. In addition to using public time, labor, and equipment to build a road to his property, evidence indicates Bilogan used his position to allegedly pressure private landowners to sell him that property last year.

The investigation centers on a 40-acre piece of land in the Town of Enterprise with frontage on Hildebrand Lake. It's near the Lincoln County line and is surrounded by Oneida County Forest land. As head of the department that manages the land around that plot, Bilogan told them the easement would never happen, and the land wasn't worth much, according to the investigation.

Law enforcement found Bilogan made the purchase by allegedly using threats and by using his position to pressure the owners to sell. The sale was completed Apr. 5, 2018. Then, Bilogan got an agreement between Oneida County and the Town of Enterprise to have Hildebrand Lake Drive extended to the property at his expense, even though he allegedly had told the previous owners such a road would never happen. n Apr. 15, 2019, the investigation found Bilogan used county equipment and county time to oversee a work group of inmates from McNaughton Correctional Center. He directed the workers to do clearing work on the road leading to his newly-acquired property.

Charges had not been filed as of late Thursday.

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