ITHACA, N.Y. — An Ithaca attorney accepted a plea deal this week after facing allegations that he may have planted drugs or drug-like substances in a Tompkins County legislator’s vehicle while it was parked at the airport last year.

Jeff Butcher, 54, pleaded guilty to felony first-degree attempted perjury in exchange for a recommended sentence of three years of conditional discharge, and a non-harassment order of protection was issued against him.

According to court documents, Butcher planted a white powdery substance, an orange powdery substance, orange and pink pills, and a green leafy substance “that had the appearance and odor” of marijuana into a white Hyundai on Feb. 15, 2015 at the Tompkins Regional Airport.

The vehicle belongs to Tompkins County Legislator Mike Sigler, for whom the order of protection was issued.

Butcher then allegedly reported to a Tompkins County Dispatcher that he saw a vehicle “chock full of drugs” at the airport. He attempted to make the call anonymously by using a Tracphone.

Butcher then lied about his involvement in the incident on May 2 while he was being questioned on the stand at the Tompkins County Family Court.

State police investigators stated in court documents that evidence — multiple 911 calls, an audio recorded phone call, an affidavit, and a transcript of the defendant’s testimony — proved Butcher’s wrongdoing.

He is scheduled to be sentenced at 1:15 p.m. on May 17 in the Tompkins County Courthouse.

Sigler declined to comment about the case.

Featured photo by Brian Turner of Flickr. 

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.