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Woman pleads guilty in extortion case involving mayor

September 24, 2012
LEVI PASCHER , The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - A city woman who was accused of trying to extort $2,000 from Mayor Dayton King accepted a plea deal with the district attorney's office in City Court this morning.

Kristi L. Lyons, 29, of 29 Orchard St., pleaded guilty to second-degree harassment, a violation, and was ordered by the court to pay a $120 surcharge. Judge John Clo told Lyons her previous time served is her punishment. The amount of time she previously served in jail was unavailable this morning.

The judge also granted two orders of protection against Lyons for the mayor and his wife, Chanda.

Article Photos

Kristi Lyons

The plea agreement between the district attorney's office and public defender Michael Smrtic was reached based on Lyons having no prior criminal record and King wanting the issue to be resolved, Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira said.

King said he worked with city police this summer to have the woman arrested on a felony charge in an alleged payoff scheme.

The mayor said the woman was one of what he called his "4,500 Facebook friends." He also said the woman attended Gloversville High School with his wife.

Sira said King told police Lyons "invented a relationship" with the mayor and was demanding $2,000 from him in exchange for not divulging the relationship to the media.

King said the woman's claims of a relationship were false and he notified authorities.

City police charged Lyons on July 16 with a felony count of grand larceny.

At the time of her arrest, police issued a news release about the arrest but did not mention King as the alleged victim.

King helped police gather evidence in the case by meeting the woman on Spring Street and paying her under police surveillance. Police said detectives observed the meeting and the payoff from King to Lyons in exchange for deleting an email. Lyons was arrested and taken into custody without incident, police said.

King was not present in the courtroom Monday but said he was satisfied with the outcome.

"I'm very satisfied with the deal reached," King said. "We both wish Kristi well and hope she moves on to be successful with her life. We feel it is important to protect my family, so the orders of protection are certainly just."

Lyons declined to comment after her court appearance. Smrtic was unavailable for comment.

Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached at gloversville@leaderherald.com.

 
 

 

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