Back in court Wednesday
Wednesday, Gloversville Mayor Dayton King will be back in court on a charge of official misconduct. It is the second time in a year the mayor has been charged with allegedly using his position as mayor for his own personal gain. How this round will go is anyone’s guess, but as happens in any sized municipality, rumors abound. Will he plea bargain — 97 percent of all criminal court cases are pled down — will he take it to trial, will he resign?
King said today he will not comment on what he plans to do in court Wednesday, neither denying one of the rumors when asked (the rumor of a plea bargain and resignation), nor confirming it.
Being in a public position and in the limelight of a criminal charge is not an easy spot to be, especially for the person’s family, and we would not wish it upon anyone. Unfortunately, this is not King’s first go-round in criminal court since he has been mayor.
The first time was last year when he released confidential information gleaned from the personnel file of his opponent for mayor in the 2017 mayorial race — William Rowback Jr. The charge was pled down to a violation and one of the provisions of the plea bargain required King to give a public apology to Rowback and the fireman’s association.
Which he did, kind of. The half-hearted apology still blamed Rowback for King’s inability to keep confidential information from a personnel file just that — confidential — by stating he should have held back when pressured by Rowback to say what he knew.
This time around, King is charged with allegedly using the city’s postage machine to mail nearly $500 worth of personal and outside business material.
While at first some of King’s supporters dismissed the alleged usage as “a couple of stamps,” and the charges against him a “witch hunt,” the truth of the matter is if King did use the city’s postage meter for his own use, even “a couple of stamps,” he used taxpayers’ money for his personal gain. That is official misconduct and a misuse of the public’s trust in him to be a role model and honest representative of the city.
Our court system allows for the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and King is due that presumption. Even so, he is in a tough spot.
King has a lot riding on these charges. If he is found guilty of official misconduct, he could lose both his jobs — one as the mayor of Gloversville and the other as a real estate broker. A felony conviction would suspend his real estate broker’s license as well as boot him from holding public office.
While we do not know what the eventual outcome will be, we do hope it is in the best interest of justice, for everyone, especially the taxpayers.