COOPERSTOWN -- After nearly a year-long battle with end-stage renal failure, former Cooperstown police chief Michael Covert is in need of a kidney transplant.
Covert was diagnosed with renal failure last March and he has had a series of health problems and surgeries since. He also doesn’t have health insurance.
"I've used my life savings and spent that on my medical bills, on my regular mortgage, my other bills in the house, maintaining the household,” Covert said. “I’ve used all of my life savings and I was down to nothing."
Covert says he took a medical leave from the Cooperstown police dept. when he was eventually terminated. He says he has filed for unemployment but the medical expenses are piling up. A GoFundMe account was started by Cooperstown police officer, Mike Ten Eyck, who Covert worked with for years. The GoFundMe account has almost reached its goal, raising $8,950 out of $10,000 in 1 day.
Covert split his time in law enforcement working between the police dept. and the sheriffs dept. Covert says he was denied insurance by the county because the union contract states that you have to be employed with the sheriffs dept. for 25 years in order to receive those benefits. Otsego County Sherriff Richard Devlin says he's working with county officials to help covert get health insurance.
“We’re going to have a sit down with the county and the union to have a discussion to see if there’s a way to rectify this problem,” Devlin said.