Accused of drunkenly crashing into a guardrail and concocting a false story to cover up the incident, a former New York police chief recently pleaded guilty to charges of driving while ability impaired and leaving the scene of an accident.
At 12:55 a.m. on October 21, Greece Police Chief Andrew Forsythe crashed his Chevy Tahoe into a guardrail after drinking at least six mixed Vodka cocktails and a shot during a fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency Rochester. Chief Forsythe continued driving for approximately five more miles until the vehicle became disabled by the side of the road with only one functioning tire.
Within a week after the crash, Forsythe resigned from the department due to his flimsy explanation that he swerved to avoid a deer and did not immediately report hitting the guardrail because his radio was temporarily inoperable. He also drove in the opposite direction of two separate Greece police stations in an apparent attempt to drive home instead.
In November, Forsythe was charged with misdemeanor drunken driving and fleeing the scene of an accident. Deputy Chief Casey Voelkl, Lt. Andrew Potter, and Officer Evan Kalpin received suspensions after failing to investigate the crash and driving Forsythe home without giving him a breathalyzer or field sobriety test.
On Thursday, Forsythe pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired and leaving the scene of an accident where there was property damage. The former police chief was sentenced to a license suspension of 90 days and ordered to pay fines totaling $1,103.
“I’m embarrassed, ashamed, and most importantly, disappointed in myself,” Forsythe told reporters outside of court. “Throughout my professional life, I’ve always strived to do the right thing. There aren’t words that can express the sorrow I feel in my heart.”
“We were called into this investigation two-and-a-half days after the crash. We had to play catchup and put together a case that was not investigated one iota by the Greece Police Department,” Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said outside of court. “Their actions that early morning hampered the investigation.”
The three suspended officers who failed to investigate the crash currently do not face any criminal charges.
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