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Three Galway officers plead guilty

Three Galway officers plead guilty

Three Galway officers plead guilty
A Galway police car is pictured.
Photographer: Erica Miller

Three Galway police officers accused of falsifying training records pleaded guilty Tuesday to fifth-degree criminal solicitation, a violation. 

The three men -- Chief Leslie Klein, Mark LaViolette and David Goodwin -- were initially charged with three felony counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. 

The Galway Police Department serves a village with a population of approximately 215. The department is part-time and based out of the law office of John W. Sutton. 

LaViolette, a sergeant with the department, also serves as director of Schenectady County Emergency Management. He was placed on paid leave from the county post in the spring after his arrest was announced. From 1999 to 2010, he was a  Schenectady police officer. 

Goodwin, also a sergeant, joined the Galway Police Department after retiring from the Johnstown police force. 

Klein, Goodwin and LaViolette also agreed to the invalidation of their police officer certifications and have resigned their positions with the village force.  

A fourth Galway officer, Mark Kirker, was also charged in connection with falsifying police training records. He is due in Albany City Court Wednesday morning. 

Kirker also serves as a Schenectady County sheriff's deputy. He was placed on administration leave by the Sheriff's Department in the spring. 

The investigation into the falsification of training records at the Galway Police Department was spearheaded by the state Attorney General's Office.

The probe was prompted by allegations of department corruption by two former officers, Richard Schoonmaker and Fred Scheidt.

Over the years, many of the officers on the Galway force have been retired police officers seeking to maintain their certifications, which allows them to carry a gun and a badge.

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