Two Fort Edward police officers to appear in court on felony charges
Two Fort Edward police officers – including the chief of police – are scheduled to appear before a judge next Monday. The charges they face are felonies. Those charges were brought by New York State Attorney General Letitia James.
NewsChannel 13 was told Friday morning the accusatory documents were not yet available because the judge was still reviewing them. That explanation was given, despite the fact excerpts of the legal briefs were published in Friday’s Times Union.
What the Times Union is reporting is that Fort Edward Police Chief Justin Derway and Sergeant Dean Watkins allegedly falsified hundreds of hours of training certification documents. Each man is facing 11 different counts.
The attorney general alleges Derway and Watkins were responsible for overseeing training for 15 police recruits beginning in October 2018.
After the recruits were certified, the attorney general examined the number of hours that went into the training program and determined the numbers didn’t add up. They determined Watkins and Derway worked an astronomical number of hours, including several shifts that exceeded 24 consecutive hours.
In an unrelated matter, NewsChannel 13 has previously reported Watkins is under investigation for improperly using a stun gun on a handcuffed man in police custody.
Both Derway and Watkins were placed on administrative leave by the Fort Edward Village Board back in January.
NewsChannel 13 reached out to the attorneys representing both men along with the mayor. We have not yet heard back.