For Release: Friday, February 24, 2017
Joint Statement from NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka Regarding Today's Guilty Plea in the November Shooting of Environmental Conservation Officer James Davey
Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Today, Alan Blanchard is taking responsibility for his dangerous and reckless conduct when he shot Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) James Davey. I commend the work of our ECOs, New York State Police and Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka in helping to bring this case to fruition, and I hope it serves as an example for all that illegal hunting after dusk and careless conduct with firearms will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I also again want to thank Lt. Liza Bobseine, who was on patrol with ECO Davey that evening, and whose swift action in the field, compressing the wound, is credited with saving his life."
Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka said, "I want to thank NYSP Sr. Inv. Bill Mulrein and give the highest praise to ECO Davey and Lt. Bobseine. These brave public servants work night and day to enforce the law and protect us all. The people of Columbia County and, in particular, the sportsmen and women of Columbia County, are extremely grateful for their service. We hope that this conviction will deter other irresponsible hunters - an extremely small minority - from similar criminal conduct."
Alan Blanchard, 55, of Gallatin, pleaded guilty to Assault in the 2nd degree, a Class D felony, in Columbia County Court in front of Judge Jonathan Nichols today. The two ECOs were in the town of Gallatin investigating reports of deer poaching that night when Blanchard shot Davey in the pelvis. He underwent surgery at the Mid-Hudson Hospital, spent time in the Intensive Care Unit, and is now undergoing extensive rehabilitation for his injuries.
Blanchard is due back in court April 28 for sentencing. Assault in the 2nd degree carries penalties of up to seven years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
ECO Davey, 39, is a 12-year veteran of the force, having graduated from the DEC Basic Police Academy in 2005. He is currently assigned to patrol Columbia County. Officer Davey is a Division of Criminal Justice Services-Certified Police Instructor, having recently become a Certified Firearms instructor for the DEC.