Duties of the Sheriff
Colonial Period to 1812 Constitution
During the Colonial period, Sheriffs were appointed annually in the month of October unless otherwise noticed. Under the first constitution Sheriffs were appointed annually by the council of appointment and no person could hold the officer more than four successive years, neither could a Sheriff hold any other office and he must be a free holder in the county where appointed. Since the adoption of the constitution of 1812, Sheriffs have been elected for a term of three years and are ineligible for re-election for the next succeeding term.
History of Duties
The following is a report of the examination of the accounts of Madison County from 1910 to 1911:
"The security given by John Hill as Sheriff of Madison County was in the form of a bond to the people of the state of New York in the sum of $10,000.00 executed by himself and three sureties, each qualifying in the sum of $10,000.00 and filed in the office of the county clerk of Madison county in the first day of December 1908. Mr. Hill began his term on January 1, 1909 and ended December 31, 1911".
The condition of the bond was that "the said Sheriff elect, shall as much, well and faithfully perform and discharge all the duties of his office, and all trusts, reposed in him by law, or by virtue of his office, and shall safely keep and pay over to the county treasurer of Madison county all moneys which shall come into his hands as Sheriff as required by law1.
A special act, chapter 29, laws of 1891 makes the office of Sheriff a salaried and regulates the management thereof. Section seven of that act provided that the Sheriff elect shall:
Execute to the people of the state file and be recorded in the office of the county clerk of said county a bond XXX conditioned that said Sheriff shall well and faithfully discharge all the duties of his office and all trusts reposed in him by law or by virtue of his office, and shall safely keep and pay over to the said county treasurer as herein provided all moneys which shall come into his hands. The said bond shall be approved as to its form and sufficiency of sureties by the board of supervisors. The bond was approved by the board in sessions on November 30, 1908.
Chapter 29, the act making the office of Sheriff of Madison County a salaried office and regulating the management of such office consists of sections which explains the duties of the stated office. The following is an account of the sections which describe the Sheriffs duties.
Section 1 - The Sheriff shall receive as compensation for his services an annual salary to be fixed by the board of supervisors which shall not exceed $20,000.00 per annum and not to be increased or diminished during his term of office.
Section 2 - It shall be the duty of the Sheriff to perform all services which he is or shall be required or authorized by law to perform by virtue of his office, and no compensation or allowance shall be made to him for his use for any such services except the salary aforesaid.
Section 3 - All the fees emoluments and perquisites which such Sheriff shall change or receive on which he shall legally be authorized required or entitled by law or receive shall belong to the county of Madison.
Section 4 - In a proper book or books, to be provided at the expense of the county, such Sheriff shall keep an exact and true account of all official services performed by him or his Undersheriff or Deputies. Also all moneys, fees, perquisites, and emoluments received or changed by him pursuant to law.
Section 5 - Such Sheriff shall make a full and true statement for each calendar month of all moneys received each day by him or his Undersheriff or Deputies for fees, perquisites, or emoluments for all services rendered by him or them in his or their official capacity and shall deliver such statement to the county treasurer of the county within ten days of the expiration thereof XXX and have attached thereto an affidavit of said Sheriff in effect that the same is a full and true statement of all moneys by him received as herein required.
Section 6 - At the time of rendering every such statement such Sheriff shall pay over to the county treasurer of Madison county for the benefit of the county the whole amount of the moneys received by him since making the last proceeding monthly statement.
Section 7 - Every Sheriff elected or appointed in the county shall before entering upon the duties of said office, execute to the people of the state, a bond in such penal sum and with such sureties shall be fixed and prescribed by the board of supervisors of said county, and shall be approved by them for the effect that, such Sheriff shall well and faithfully discharge all the duties of his office and all trusts reposed in him by law and pay over to the county treasurer as herein provided all moneys that shall come into his hands.
Section 8 - Relates to the number and appointment of an Undersheriff and such Deputy Sheriffs as may be designated by the board of supervisors, XXX and the board of supervisors shall fix the salary and compensation of said Undersheriff and Deputy Sheriffs.
Section 9 - Any officer referred to in this act who shall receive to his own use or neglect to account for any moneys, fee, perquisites, or emoluments, by this act declared to belong to the county of Madison, or who neglects to render to said county treasurer an account of all fees received or to pay over to the same as herein required, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.
Section 10 - The board of supervisors may in their discretion allow necessary traveling expenses, in criminal cases, to the Sheriff, Undersheriff, and Deputies.