AKRON, N.Y. (WIVB) - An Erie County Sheriff's deputy has pleaded guilty to DWI, in connection with a January 16 accident where his car crashed into a home in the Village of Akron.
25-year-old Daniel Harris will not serve any jail time, but Judge Dennis Freeman has ordered him to pay a thousand-dollar fine, and has imposed many restrictions on Harris' license.
His attorney, Michael Mohun, said, "His license was revoked for six months; [he was] ordered to attend a drinking and driving program, and he'll have a conditional license for the six-month period with the installation of an Ignition Interlock on his personal vehicle."
Kelley Omel, chief of the Erie County District Attorney's Office's vehicular crimes bureau, said "He pled guilty to the highest sustainable charge, of driving while intoxicated."
Judge Freeman also ordered Harris to send a letter of apology to the Capens, who own the house Harris crashed his car into.
"They knew each other before the incident. So the Capens had the understanding of what type of man Dan Harris is. And I think even without the judge ordering a letter of apology, I think Dan would've done it anyway," Mohun said.
Harris was suspended from his job immediately after the accident, while the Sheriff's Office conducted an internal investigation. Sources tell News 4 he is now back at work, though it's not clear if the investigation is complete.
Just before sentencing, Judge Freeman said he was "very disappointed" in Harris.
"Just because he's a police officer," Judge Freeman said, "doesn't mean he doesn't make mistakes. I hope he learns from this."
Mohun said, "Dan Harris has many, many admirable qualities. And to judge him for what happened on that night isn't fair to him or the department."
Harris will also have to perform 100 hours of community service, and publish another letter of apology in the Akron Bugle and Akron-Corfu Pennysaver. Judge Freeman said in court he felt Harris owes the community at large that apology, because of his position in law enforcement.
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