A Nassau County judge sentenced Hempstead school board member Randy Stith on Tuesday to probation, community service and restitution pay after Stith admitted filing a forged letter in his application to become a Hempstead Village police officer and stealing from the village fire department.
The sentence, part of a plea deal made with prosecutors in March, will enable Stith, 28, to avoid jail time on the 13-count indictment prosecutors brought last April.
Instead, Stith pleaded guilty to third-degree possession of a forged instrument and petit larceny, both misdemeanors. Judge Teresa Corrigan sentenced him to 3 years probation, 100 hours of community service and $4,223 in restitution payments.
Stith declined to comment after the sentencing. His attorney, Joseph Conway, said Stith "took the plea because he was guilty and wanted to put this behind him and start a new chapter in his life."
Prosecutors said Stith forged a letter of recommendation in 2015 with his application to become a police officer and made more than $6,500 in unauthorized cash withdrawals from the bank account of the fire department's Southside Hose 2 from 2015 to 2018, when he was treasurer and a volunteer firefighter.
Stith resigned from the police department last month as part of the plea deal. He remains on the school board, despite calls for him to step down.
At the sentencing, Senior Assistant District Attorney Lisa Berk expressed concern that Stith had "minimized his conduct" and "accepted no responsibility" for the petit larceny charge in a probation interview.
"What he told probation is not consistent with what he told the court," Berk said.
In response, Corrigan said she was "not so sure" that Stith admitted his guilt, and required him again to say that he had stolen the money and submitted the forged letter, which Stith did.
The original charges against Stith included first-degree falsifying business records, first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and second-degree possession of a forged instrument. Stith had pleaded not guilty.
If convicted of the top felony charge, he could have faced up to 7 years in prison.
The village has paid Stith close to $3,000 in net termination pay, according to a Hempstead Village spokesman.