Sheriff’s Deputy resigns after assault conviction

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BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) Erie County Sheriff Deputy Kenneth Achtyl resigned Wednesday, five days after a jury convicted him of assaulting a fan outside of New Era Field in 2017.

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office released the following statement:

“Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard announced today that while reviewing Deputy Achtyl’s employment status following the jury trial last week, his office received a letter of resignation from Mr. Achtyl.”

Sheriff Howard did discuss employment options with the County Attorney’s Office as well as reviewed past dismissals of Sheriff’s Office employees.

Deputy Achtyl was on paid administrative leave following the notification that an investigation was initiated into the December 3, 2017 incident.  Following Deputy Achtyl’s arrest, the Sheriff’s Office changed the Deputy’s status to leave without pay.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said it was not up to his office to decide whether Achtyl kept his job or not, but he said Achtyl’s conviction of falsifying business records comes into play.

“If someone is either convicted or pleads guilty, found guilty in any manner at all, of a crime of moral turpitude, where they have an integrity issue, the law says that they lose their job,” said Flynn.

Achtyl had been a law enforcer for more than 20 years. He now faces up to two years in jail when sentenced on January 23.

The State Comptroller’s Office tells News 4 that a misdemeanor conviction would have no impact on Achtyl’s ability to collect pension benefits.

Aaron Glazer, the attorney who represented the man assaulted in the video, released the following statement in response to Achtyl’s resignation:

“ Deputy Achtyl’s resignation comes as no surprise given the nature of the convictions. What is surprising is the misinformation that has circulated regarding Mr. Belsito’s actions.  The public should be aware that it has never been alleged that Mr. Belsito threw any beer cans at law enforcement or that he committed any other crime.  Nor has it been alleged that he did not “comply” with law enforcement before has was forcibly, and unconstitutionally, grabbed from behind and smashed in the face with a baton.  It should be noted that Deputy Achtyl had the benefit of one of this area’s finest criminal defense attorneys in Rod Personius.  Clearly, the jury’s verdict closes the door on this unfortunate incident, at least from a criminal law standpoint.”

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