Officer pleads guilty to stealing from Hempstead FD, filing false document

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MINEOLA -

Randy Stith, a Hempstead police officer, volunteer firefighter and school board member, pleaded guilty Thursday to criminal possession of a forged instrument and petit larceny.

Stith proclaimed his innocence last year after being hit with a 13-count indictment. He was accused of stealing $6,500 from the Hempstead Fire Department and filing a false document to get his job as a Hempstead police officer.

Under the terms of the plea deal, Stith was ordered to resign from the police department, pay $4,223 in restitution to the fire department and perform 100 hours of community service.

The deal requires Stith to be on probation for three years. He would have faced up to seven years in prison, if he had gone to trial and was convicted.

The judge in the case said that he had betrayed the trust of his fellow police officers, firefighters and the public.

Stith says he will not resign from the Hempstead School Board. According to his attorney, he doesn't have to because under state law, pleading guilty to misdemeanors doesn't disqualify him from sitting on a school board.

Stith was seen voting and discussing school matters at a board meeting Thursday night.

"Randy Stith should not be on our school board," says Hempstead parent Dennis Jones. "He should not be a trustee. He should not be managing money. He should not have anything to do with the money in the school district."

The president of the Hempstead School Board told News 12 the board has no comment about Stith's guilty plea. Hempstead residents say they're going to call on the State Education Commissioner to remove Stith from the school board.

Stith is due back in court on April 9 for sentencing.

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