City police officer Kyle Hunter, who was already facing termination over several allegations, headed off that possibility this morning as he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and agreed to resign from the force.
Hunter appeared in Schenectady County Court this morning before Judge Karen Drago and accepted the prosecution’s offer.
The offer included no jail time, but required his resignation from the force.
Hunter pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree criminal contempt, a misdemeanor. There will also be a full order of protection for the victim will be in place for three years.
He admitted to sending text messages to his ex-girlfriend in May and June, violating an order of protection.
His attorney, Michael Horan, said later that Hunter was returning text messages sent by the woman.
The plea came after a similar offer was rejected in January.
Horan said Hunter thought about it and decided to change his plea. The trial in the case was expected to begin as early as next week.
Hunter’s resignation will be made official once the city draws up the necessary paperwork. That is expected to happen quickly.
As soon as the papers are ready, Drago said, “you need to get down there and sign those papers immediately. That is my order.” Hunter admitted to violating an order of protection twice, once in May and once in June.
He was indicted last summer on two felony counts of criminal contempt for allegedly violating orders of protection.
Prosecutor Christina Tremante-Pelham had offered a plea deal in January that would have had Hunter plead guilty to one count of second-degree criminal contempt, a misdemeanor.
Tremante-Pelham called the disposition the appropriate one, given Hunter’s lack of criminal history and other factors.
Horan said in January that Hunter didn’t want to plead guilty to anything he didn’t do. He said then not only was his client not guilty but Hunter ‘s ex-girlfriend has recanted as well.
Had he been convicted of either of the felonies, he would have automatically lost his job as a city police officer. He had been one of several officers facing termination for a variety of alleged offenses and one of three that faced automatic termination upon conviction.
He was suspended in March 2009 after accusations that he used his ex-girlfriend’s car without authorization. He was accused of violating an order of protection and kicking in a door at the woman’s residence in April.
The charge related to the alleged March incident was dropped in June after a prosecutor said the sole witness, Hunter’s ex-girlfriend, did not appear for the scheduled bench trial.
But the other charges remained, resulting in last summer’s indictment.
Hunter is free on $5,000 bail.