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Gloversville mayor Dayton King admits misconduct, resigns

Gloversville mayor Dayton King admits misconduct, resigns

The Gloversville City Council will meet Thursday to pick a new mayor
Gloversville mayor Dayton King admits misconduct, resigns
Gloversville Mayor Dayton King, right, with his attorney Robert Abdella in court Wednesday
Photographer: MARC SCHULTZ/DAILY GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

GLOVERSVILLE -- Gloversville Mayor Dayton King resigned Wednesday as part of a plea deal on postage-related larceny allegations.

King, 40, pleaded guilty to official misconduct, a misdemeanor, in Gloversville City Court. The mayor, who has been in office for nine years, originally faced a felony charge of falsifying city records.

Under the plea deal, King agreed to resign by the end of the day and to pay $473.07 in restitution for using a city postage meter for personal business. He will also pay a $500 fine and will have to complete 50 hours of community service by April 30, under the plea deal terms. He will also pay $250 in mandatory court and DNA database fees, and he will be on probation for a year.

King, whose office is just down the hall from the courtroom, subsequently sent City Council a letter to announce his resignation, effective as of 5 p.m.

King refused to comment after his court appearance but later issued a prepared statement through his lawyer, Robert Abdella, of Gloversville.

"I used poor judgment," King wrote. "I was wrong, and I am embarrassed by my conduct. I apologize to everyone who I have ever let down, and I ask for your forgiveness.

Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen, who acted as special prosecutor in the case, said King used the city's postal meter for his real estate business.

"He was charged with some serious violations of law. They dealt particularly with heightened and enhanced responsibilities as an elected official, and having him plead guilty today to official misconduct -- to admit that he abused that authority and position that the citizens of this community have entrusted him with -- I thought was important to the disposition of this case," Heggen said.

Gloversville City Council planned to meet at 6 p.m. Thursday to pick a new mayor. The City Charter mandates the new mayor be a member of the City Council, and that person will serve until a special election for the $42,266-salary position is held in November.

King, an independent-minded registered Republican, had been mayor since 2010 and was elected to a third four-year term in 2017.

King was arrested by state police on Nov. 14 and charged with falsifying business records, a felony, and misdemeanor counts of official misconduct and petit larceny. All three charges stem from allegations that King, 40, used the Gloversville City Hall postage meter for his personal business.

The charging documents filed by the state police claimed King used the city postage meter, a device that prints the equivalent of a stamp onto postage, between Jan. 5 and Oct. 15, 2018, in the amount of $473.07.

The felony charge of falsifying business records accused King of entering false formation about the use of the postage meter into the city ledger.

King last fall settled a previous criminal charge stemming from a 2017 mayoral debate in which details of the city personnel file of his opponent, city firefighter William Rowback Jr., were discussed. King's release of the information during the debate was an alleged violation of Rowback's New York state civil rights, which mandate that the personnel files of police and firefighters remain private.

King pleaded guilty in September to one count of second-degree harassment, a violation, which was a reduction from a felony charge of official misconduct. That charge stemmed from a complaint Rowback filed following the debate.

King paid a $250 fine and agreed to write a letter of apology to Rowback and to read the letter aloud at a City Council meeting.

King also received a period of probation after that plea deal.

Since both of King's convictions are for misdemeanors, state Public Officers Law does not prevent him from running for office again, as would be the case if he pleaded guilty to a felony.

"I greatly appreciate the opportunity to have served as mayor for the last nine years," King's statement concluded.

Reach Daily Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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