Trenton (WSYR-TV) -- A town supervisor and former Boy Scout leader stands accused of sexually abusing a child younger than 11 years old.
Perhaps more disturbing, police believe there may be more victims – dating back decades.
Trenton Town Supervisor 52-year-old Mark Scheidelman is out of jail on bond, but officers say they’re still chasing leads about possible abuse. Neighbors say what’s alarming is that cases like this seem to be growing more and more common among adults in positions of power.
"The clergy, athletics, you know, it's widespread. It's not just in our area, or the rich, or the poor, it seems to be something that bothers a lot of different people,” said Trenton resident Kenneth Schoff.
"Children come first. You have to watch out for the welfare of our children. That's what matters to me,” said another Trenton resident Patrick Houghtaling.
Some people are even calling for Scheidelman to leave office.
At a meeting Wednesday night, the Trenton Town Board recognized the seriousness of the allegations, but said they know no more than what’s been made public by the media.
For now, Scheidelman remains on the Board as Town Supervisor.
"The Supervisor is an elected official and remains so until he's either removed or resigns, or the seat is declared vacant," said Town Attorney Thomas Hughes.
Article 3, Section 30 of the New York State Public Officers Law says a vacancy can not be created unless the official dies, resigns, ceases to live in the political subdivision or is convicted of a felony that violates his oath of office.
"Under this law, no such vacancy has occurred, and until such time as a statutory vacancy does occur, the Supervisor shall retain his position under said law. We ask you to remember that all accused are innocent until proven guilty,” said Deputy Supervisor Joseph Smith.
"I mean, you don't disenfranchise the electorate just because there's been an accusation against the person,” Hughes continued.
Anyone with information on the incident or Scheidelman should call State Police at (315) 366-6000 or the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center at (315) 732-3990.
Below is the full statement released by the Town Board regarding the allegations against Scheidelman:
"The Board of the Town of Trenton recognizes that serious allegations have been made concerning the Town Supervisor. The Board has no independent knowledge of the alleged incident other than those reports that have been made public by the media.
"The Board further wishes the public to know that even in the absence of the Supervisor, a quorum of four councilpersons still exists and that the quorum is ready and willing to conduct the business of the town.
"Article 3, Section 30 of the New York State Public Officers Law dictates the circumstances under which a vacancy will occur in an elected office. Under this law, no such vacancy has occurred, and until such time as a statutory vacancy does occur, the Supervisor shall retain his position under said law. We ask you to remember that all accused are innocent until proven guilty.
Given the Board’s extremely limited knowledge of the facts in this matter, any further comment would be inappropriate at this time."