Gloversville Mayor Dayton King pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree harassment as part of a plea agreement stemming from the 2017 mayoral election.
Prosecutors say King violated the rights of his opponent at the time, Bill Rowback, by allegedly using personal information from Rowback’s time as a firefighter against him during a debate.
King was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday but has instead reached a plea agreement.
According to King’s lawyer Robert Abdella, as part of the agreement, King has pleaded guilty to second-degree harassment, a violation.
King has also agreed to write a letter of apology to Rowback and the Gloversville Firefighters’ Untion for violating a state civil rights law. Special prosecutor Peter Califano will sign off on the letter, which King will then read at the October 23 Gloversville Common Council meeting.
King faces resentencing if he does not comply with the requirements of the plea agreement.
Abdella said in a statement Tuesday that he maintains his belief that the charges against King had no legal merit, did not belong in a criminal court and would have resulted in an acquittal had they gone to trial.
“That being said, Dayton recognizes that the fire department members and Bill Rowback have an expectation of privacy and in retrospect, he should not have disclosed information about Mr. Rowback even when Mr. Rowback asked him to disclose the information during the live debate. He will be happy to issue a formal apology to Mr. Rowback and the fire department. He looks forward to continuing to serve as the Mayor of Gloversville and making sure the work of the people gets done.”
– Robert Abdella – Attorney for Dayton King