Eastern Shore Police Chief Gets Suspended 2-Year Sentence for Falsifying Cop’s Hiring Papers

    A former Eastern Shore police chief received a two-year suspended prison sentence and three years’ of supervised probation in Caroline County Circuit Court Friday for falsifying hiring documents for an expelled Dover, Del., police officer who became embroiled in the officer-involved death investigation of Anton Black.

    The Office of the State Prosecutor charged former Greensboro Police chief Michael Petyo in November with misconduct in office for making “several” factual misrepresentations in an application for police certification, which he filed on behalf of Thomas Webster IV.

    Petyo was expected to plead guilty Friday as part of a plea agreement by the state, State Prosecutor Charlton Howard III said Friday.

    Howard said the state asked for a three-year suspended sentence with three years of unsupervised probation.

    “Honest and thorough reporting to the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission is an essential responsibility of Police Chiefs throughout the State of Maryland to ensure that individuals who apply for certification, and are consequently employed as law enforcement officers, are properly screened and evaluated,” Howard said in a statement following the hearing. “In his submission, Petyo made several intentional misrepresentations and factual omissions to the Commission.”

    In late July, Webster lost his certification to work as a police officer in Maryland following an investigation by the commission.

    An agency spokesman said the investigation was launched after state officials learned in February from Maryland Matters that some of Webster’s past personnel records were not included in a certification application submitted by Petyo last April.

    Webster came to Maryland seeking employment as a law enforcement officer in 2017 after agreeing to never pursue work again as a law enforcement in Dover, following a legal settlement in 2016 that stemmed from assault charges brought by an African-American man in his custody who suffered a broken jaw and concussion.

    For articles related to the case of Anton Black, who died in in September 2018 following a struggle with Eastern Shore police, click here.

    Glynis Kazanjian is a freelance writer. She can be reached at [email protected]