Former Wading River firefighter Mary Ortega pleaded guilty to inpersonating...

Former Wading River firefighter Mary Ortega pleaded guilty to inpersonating an NYPD officer during an appearance in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Wednesday. Credit: James Carbone

A former Wading River volunteer firefighter who posed as an NYPD officer despite having no professional or volunteer role with the department pleaded guilty in Suffolk County criminal court Wednesday.

Mary Ortega, 46, of Wading River will serve three years of probation after she admitted pretending to be a police officer and then fraudulently backing up her claim by presenting a bogus NYPD identification card.

She pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a felony, and misdemeanor criminal personation. The felony charge will be dropped in one year if she maintains a clean record, Suffolk Supreme Court Justice Timothy Mazzei told her.

“Today was a good result for both the people and our client,” defense attorney Haley Baldwin of Mineola said in a statement following Wednesday’s change of plea hearing. “There was no malicious intent behind my client’s actions. My client has led a life dedicated to volunteer service and giving back to her community. She has always been a law-abiding citizen and recognized the error in what she did and the need to take responsibility for her actions.”

Ortega, who works at a restaurant in Hauppauge, was suspended by the Wading River Fire Department in May 2022 as it investigated her claims of being a police officer, records show. Baldwin said she has since left the department.

Prosecutors previously said Ortega would show up to volunteer fire calls wearing an NYPD uniform.

During the department investigation, Ortega allegedly turned over forged letters supporting her claim from State Sen. Simcha Felder and Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, prosecutors said.

Both letters falsely referred to Ortega as a sworn member of the NYPD and referenced her fictitious assignment with an undercover gang and drug unit within the department, prosecutors had said.

Ortega later admitted to fire department officials that she had never been affiliated with the NYPD and purchased her gear online, prosecutors previously said.

Ortega was arrested in January and charged with three counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, three counts of first-degree falsifying business records and three counts of first-degree offering a false instrument, all felonies, along with the misdemeanor criminal impersonation charge.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Amanda Scheier of the Public Corruption Bureau.

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