What to Know
An LI cop is accused of stealing more than $6,500 from the Hempstead Village Volunteer Fire Dept. when he served as a volunteer firefighter
Randy Stith, who is also a Hempstead Village school board member and former volunteer firefighter, was arraigned Wednesday in Nassau County
Stith, 27, is also accused of falsifying a document in order to gain employment with the Hempstead Village Police Department
A Long Island cop was indicted for stealing more than $6,500 from the Hempstead Village Volunteer Fire Department when he served as a volunteer firefighter, authorities say.
Randy Stith, who is also a Hempstead Village school board member and former volunteer firefighter, was arraigned Wednesday in Nassau County. He is also accused of falsifying a document to obtain employment as a Hempstead Village police officer.
Stith, 27, is facing 13 charges related to the alleged theft and falsification, including possession of a forged instrument, grand larceny, falsifying business records and official misconduct.
During his arraignment, Stith pled not guilty and was released on his recognizance without bail.
Stith has since been suspended with pay by the Hempstead Village Police Department.
He is due back in court on June 1.
If convicted of the top count, Stith faces up to seven years in prison.
"Obviously this is a tough day for Mr. Stith," said Stith's attorney, Joseph Conway. "He has served this community since he was old enough to do so."
Conway claimed the theft accusation comes from other volunteers with whom Stith had a dispute.
According to Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, from February 2015 to January 2018, Stith allegedly made 12 unauthorized cash withdrawals from the bank account of HVFD Southside Hose 2.
Stith allegedly cashed a refund check intended for the Fire Department and falsified expenses in a financial statement to obscure the withdrawals from the company’s bank account, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office says.
In total, Stith is alleged to have stolen $6,503 from the company and was terminated from the Hempstead Volunteer Fire Department on Jan. 31, authorities say.
“This defendant’s alleged theft of funds that were intended to buy emergency equipment and support the lifesaving work of volunteer firefighters is an outrageous betrayal of the trust placed in him as treasurer,” Singas said in a statement.
Stith, who is a probationary member of the Hempstead Village Police Department, is also accused of submitting a forged recommendation letter in April 2015 to the Nassau County Civil Service Commission.
On Feb. 25, 2015, Stith was disqualified from civil service by the Nassau County Civil Service Commission on grounds unrelated to this investigation, authorities say. However, to persuade the commission to rescind his disqualification, Stith allegedly filed a forged letter of recommendation purporting to be signed by another member of the HVFD Southside Hose 2 fire company and asked the commission to use the letter in determining his character.
The commission factored in the letter and other documents submitted by Stith and subsequently rescinded his disqualification. He was sworn in as a police officer on June 8, 2017.
Stith currently serves as a trustee of the Hempstead Union Free School District. His lawyer, Joseph Conway, said Stith will remain on the school board.