Editor’s Note: This is one of three stories being published today by the Ithaca Voice about the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office.

See the other two stories here and here.

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ITHACA, N.Y. — Tompkins County Sheriff Ken Lansing said on Monday that there is a conspiracy among powerful people in the county determined to see him ousted from political office.

“I know it. I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t know it,” Lansing said about the conspiracy against him.

Lansing said that he keeps a folder with information on various people in the county. He suggested that he had evidence that could embarrass these unnamed rivals.

“I can tell you; I can plant shit in your lap right now, okay?,” Lansing said toward the conclusion of a nearly 90-minute interview with the Ithaca Voice about his record as sheriff.

“I can plant some stuff in your lap and shit and stuff like that about things that I know, and I have records of and I have proof of.”

When pressed for details, Lansing added: “This is what I have to do to protect myself, and I hate it. Since I took over … I’ve got a folder, okay, on people. People that … I’d give you some of this shit.”

(Lansing added in an interview on Tuesday that he did not intend these statements to be interpreted as threats.)

On Monday, Lansing said that some people have information that they shouldn’t have because they are “connected with this Democratic corruption that goes on in this county.”

“That’s why they don’t like me, okay?,” Lansing said. “Because I’m not one of them nor would I ever be one of them, and that’s why they work so hard to take me down.”

Lansing said that he acknowledged that he didn’t have a spotless record, but expressed frustration that his “unblemished” 42 years in law enforcement had been tarred by members of the conspiracy.

“And I’m not perfect, so if you’re going to find something on me it’s going to be something — but it’s not going to be very much because I’m not perfect. But this is what upsets me,” he said.

“I got shit on people because they started doing the same thing doing the same thing … trying to get stuff out of nothing just to start a fucking issue.”

Lansing said he will not seek reelection as sheriff. He said the job has been bad for his health and that he’s a grandfather who is looking forward to spending time with his family and in a new romantic relationship.

“If I was a quitter, I’d leave today …. I’ve had enough,” Lansing said.

“My doctor tells me everyday: ‘You don’t need this.’ … I really don’t.”

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.