A former Hempstead village police officer and ex-firefighter who was facing prison time on more than a dozen charges has struck a plea deal that will allow him to continue serving on the local school board.
Randy Stith pleaded guilty Thursday at Nassau County court to criminal possession of a forged instrument and petit larceny. The remainder of the charges in a 13-count indictment were dropped in exchange for the plea, which requires that he resign from the police force as a result.
He had faced up to seven years in prison on the top count, a felony, but since he pleaded guilty to misdemeanors, he is legally allowed to continue serving on the Hempstead school board.
Authorities said the 28-year-old made 12 unauthorized cash withdrawals from the bank account of HVFD Southside Hose 2 beginning in February 2015 and before he was fired from the volunteer fire department last year.
Stith also allegedly submitted a forged recommendation letter in April 2015 to the Nassau County Civil Service Commission, according to investigators.
He was disqualified from civil service on grounds unrelated to the charges, but to persuade the commission to rescind the disqualification, he filed a forged letter of recommendation purporting to be signed by another member of the fire company and asked the commission to use the letter in determining his character, prosecutors said. He was sworn in as a police officer in 2017.
A judge ordered Stith to pay $4,223 to the fire department as well as serve 100 hours of community service and three years of probation.