Fmr. Greece PD chief pleads guilty to DWAI, leaving scene of a property damage accident, Town releases investigation update

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GREECE, N.Y. (WHEC) — Former Greece Police Department Chief Drew Forsythe Thursday pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.

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When asked why she offered Forsythe a plea deal, Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorly told News10NBC that she simply didn’t have the evidence she needed to prove her case beyond a reasonable doubt because there was no breathalyzer or field sobriety test administered to Forsythe the night of the crash.

"The District Attorney’s Office was called into this 2½ days after the crash," Doorley said. "We had to play catch-up. We had to play catch-up and put together a case that was basically not investigated one iota by the Greece Police Department. Their actions that early morning hampered the investigation."

Forsythe made an on-camera statement after entering his plea Thursday evening. The full statement is in the video in the player below (mobile users, click here):

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"I made a mistake that I wish I could take back but I can’t. I just hope that the poor decision I made doesn’t reflect all the great work I’ve done over my career," Forsythe said. "I want to apologize to my family and my friends that supported me… My children whose trust I broke I will work hard to gain again."

As part of the plea deal, Forsythe’s license will be suspended for 90 days and he will have to attend a victim impact panel. He also has to pay about $1,000 in fines.

The charges stem from an Oct. 20 crash on 390, where prosecutors say the former chief had six drinks at a hotel bar before getting behind the wheel. Forsythe resigned from his position on Oct. 25, just two days after he was placed on administrative leave.

[Full timeline here]

Forsythe initially appeared in Greece Town Court for arraignment last Thursday, but all three judges stepped aside from the case because they know and worked with Forsythe. This is why he will appear in Ogden’s court.

Prior to his arraignment, Town of Greece Supervisor Bill Reilich announced former Rochester Police Deputy Chief Mike Wood would succeed Forsythe in the chief’s role. Learn more about Wood’s appointment here.

The Greece Town Board held a meeting Thursday night in the investigation into actions taken by the Town of Greece Police officers who responded to Forsythe’s crash and vote on whether to take action against what some are saying could be police corruption.

The town says three of the 10 officers investigated have been completely exonerated of any wrongdoing in the investigation and disciplinary action or demotion was recommended for the other seven.

It said those seven officers will be given the opportunity to accept the discipline recommended by the investigators, and if they do not accept the discipline, they will be served with disciplinary charges which are required by the Town Law.

The Town says it does not release specific information about police officer disciplinary action until cases are finally adjudicated.

The Town’s full statement is below (mobile users, click here):

GPD Internal Investigation Update by News10NBC on Scribd