Vote 2013: Erie County Sheriff's Race is 3-Way Contest

November 5, 2013 Updated Nov 5, 2013 at 8:46 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

...
November 5, 2013 Updated Nov 5, 2013 at 8:46 PM EDT

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WKBW) Republican Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard is hoping to win another 4-year term.

He is being challenged by Democratic candidate Richard "Dick" Dobson, Sr. and "Law and Order" candidate Bert Dunn.

Dobson is a retired 32-year veteran of the sheriff's department who upset Bert Dunn in the Democratic primary this past September.

Bert Dunn refused to drop out instead helping establish a third-party called the "Law & Order" party - creating a three person race.

Dobson's primary win also created its own controversy with the Erie County Democratic committee accusing the Dobson campaign of using illegal funding from a political action committee called "WNY Progressive Caucus" in order to purchase television ads.

The WNY Progressive Caucus is heavily supported by former Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Steve Pigeon.

Erie County Legislators Betty Jean Grant and Timothy Hogues, along with former Erie County Assistant District Attorney Mark Sacha, have filed complaints with New York's Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption.

Just last week, the Erie County Board of Elections agreed to conduct a bi-partisan investigation to see if the caucus violated election law

The establishment of a new party line, and its use of funds, is just one of several controversial things that has taken place in the campaign for Erie County Sheriff.

Earlier this year, Sheriff Howard made headline news when he spoke against New York's gun-control "Safe Act."

Howard saying he felt the law was a violation of the 2nd Amendment and he would "not enforce it."

The two-term sheriff also filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of a lawsuit that is seeking to overturn the law.

Candidate Dunn and Dobson complained that the SAFE Act issue was a smokescreen for more serious issues in the department such as conditions in the holding center, manpower allocations, and budgets.

And now there are recent allegations that candidate Dobson called 911 reporting a disturbance at the Grand Island Rod & Gun Club.

Police reports obtained by Eyewitness News show no disturbance was taking place and Dobson wanted to share left-over food from a fundraiser with the deputies.

No charges are being pressed.