HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Monday, former Hoosick Falls Police Chief Robert B. Ashe, 62, was arrested for official misconduct. New York State Police officials say Ashe, while serving as Chief, stole evidence and then created paperwork to cover up the theft.

Ashe pleaded guilty the same day in the Village of Hoosick Falls court before Honorable Judge Thomas Restino. In alignment with New York State Public Officers Law, this conviction automatically results in Ashe’s termination and removal from public office.

On May 11, shortly before he was arrested, Ashe retired from his position as Hoosick Falls Police Chief. This came after he was suspended with pay in late 2021, while the New York State Police investigated his misconduct.

Ashe wrote a statement about his arrest on the department’s Facebook page Wednesday night. He said:

“I want to take a moment to thank the many people who took the time to congratulate me on my retirement and support during my appearance in court. At no time did I take fireworks for my personal use and contrary to media reports based on sources I did not host a party at my home. Unfortunately I did not follow proper procedures in the removal and pending destruction. Over my 37 years of service to the residents that I have sworn to protect and serve I have done such with respect and pride. I have treated each person with respect, dignity and fairness, Protecting residents like protecting my family. It’s time now to focus on my family and my health. And I will always cherish the love and support that I have received from the community that I have faithfully protected and served.”

Officer-in-charge Paul Aleksonis will continue to lead the Hoosick Falls Police Department. When Ashe pleaded guilty, he was given an unconditional discharge and was ordered by Judge Restino to pay a $205 court surcharge.