TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A suspended Town of Tonawanda police officer, Howard Scholl III, 36, was arraigned on charges of falsifying business records and insurance fraud on Thursday.
The case against Scholl stemmed from a crash in the Town of Tonawanda that occurred this past January. Town of Tonawanda police Scholl’s SUV slid through the intersection of Englewood and St. Johns avenues and struck a vehicle driven by an UBER driver.
Prosecutors say Scholl told his insurance provider that his wife was the driver of the vehicle. Because of this, Aimee Scholl, 33, was also charged with one count of falsifying business records. According to Erie County District Attorney, John Flynn, Aimee Scholl told Town of Tonawanda Police officers at the scene of the crash that she was driving.
“The allegations that have been made against her aren’t consistent with her character or the person she is,” said attorney James Grable Jr., who represents Aimee Scholl.
Flynn says Howard Scholl went along with is wife’s story and even told his insurance company the next day that his wife was driving. But Flynn says his investigation proved differently from what Town of Tonawanda Police officers determined at the scene. “If they would’ve done a little bit more investigation and asked the UBER driver, ‘Hey, who was driving the car? What did you see?’ They might’ve found out that he was driving the car,” said Flynn.
Attorney Barry Covert represents Howard Scholl. “We’re hoping to resolve this matter favorably. He’s looking forward to returning to service as a police officer. He is a decorated Marine. He’s a decorated police officer and he’s really looking forward to going back and serving the community.”
The two appeared in Amherst Town Court today so there would not be a conflict of interest in Tonawanda, but today they allowed the accused officer and his wife to avoid TV cameras by coming and going through a special passage in the back of the courtroom.
“That was unacceptable,” said Flynn. “My A-D-A had no knowledge of that at all and my A-D-A had no part in that at all. Apparently the Court and court officers took it upon themselves to escort Mr. Scholl and his wife out the back door, and as the face of the criminal justice system in Erie County, I apologize for that.”
Aimee and Howard Scholl are both due back in Amherst Town Court on July 10 at 9 a.m. They could face up to a year in jail on the misdemeanor count of Falsifying Business Records. Howard Scholl faces an additional charge of Insurance Fraud. He is suspended without pay pending termination from the Town of Tonawanda Police Department, according to Flynn.