ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Tuesday, Albany City Court confirmed that retiring Fort Edward Police Chief Justin Derway had been sentenced to conditional discharge after taking a guilty plea in the case against himself and village Police Sergeant Dean Watkins earlier this year. Derway took a plea deal to one misdemeanor count of 2nd degree offering a false instrument, for allegedly reporting several hundred hours of overtime police training hours they did not work.
Derway filed his resignation from the Fort Edward Village Police Department in May, after he and Watkins plead not guilty in March to 11 counts of first-degree filing a false instrument with intent to defraud. The village said that Derway retired in order to pursue retirement, effective Friday, July 15. Both officers were placed on administrative leave in January.
The New York State Attorney General’s Office did not immediately respond on Tuesday to a request for stipulations of the conditional discharge.
The case against Derway and Watkins was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Ben Mastaitis at Albany City Court. The case was opened by the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services, who reviewed over 1,400 hours of police training hours filed by the two officers after time spent training 15 police recruits in 2019. The training program was supposed to comprise of roughly 700 work hours over 11 months, spanning Oct. 20, 2018 to Sept. 27, 2019. Instead, the department reported double that number of hours across the span of three months – July 28 – Oct. 20, 2019.