GLOVERSVILLE

Mayor faces new charges

King accused of falsifying records and official misconduct

BY STEVEN COOK AND ZACHARY MATSON Gazette Reporters
 
 Mayor Dayton J. King is facing new criminal charges. This time, he is accused of using a city postage meter for non-city business, state police said on Wednesday.
 
 King, 40, used the postage meter in City Hall for unofficial purposes and then falsified the ledger that records use of the meter, troopers said.
 
 He was charged Wednesday with one count of first-degree falsifying business records, a felony. He was also charged with official misconduct and petty larceny, both misdemeanors.
 
 King was issued appearance tickets and was released to return to court at a later date. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
 
 King recently settled a previous criminal charge stemming from a mayoral debate last year. He pleaded guilty in September to one count of second-degree harassment, a violation.
 
 He also paid a $250 fine and agreed to write a letter of apology to his mayoral opponent and to read the letter aloud at a City Council meeting last month.
 
 King initially faced an official misconduct count in that case, as well, accused of illegally using information from his opponent’s personnel file in a mayoral debate.
 
 Bill Rowback Jr., King’s opponent in the 2017 mayor’s race, which King won narrowly after a recount, said on Wednesday that the charges are another sign of King’s character. He highlighted the earlier charges against King and asked, “What’s next?”
 
 Rowback said the mayor should be held to a higher standard than other residents and promised to run for mayor the next time the seat is open -- “whenever that may be.” He also pointed to the role residents and the Common Council need to play in holding King accountable if the allegations hold up.
 
 “If the residents of the city of Gloversville want somebody in office that is continually breaking the law, that’s on the residents of the city of Gloversville,” Rowback said Wednesday. “In the position of mayor, you are held accountable for every action you take. You are held to a higher standard, and you are supposed to be a model for our residents and especially our youth.”
 
 Reached by phone Wednesday, one member of the Common Council said he had not heard King was facing new charges. Other council members had not heard details of the allegations. The Common Council members who were reached mostly said they want to hear more details about the charges before commenting.
 
 “I don’t think we have an investigative duty,” said Councilman Steven Smith, who represents the city’s 4th Ward, when asked if the City Council should investigate the allegations. “We should wait for whomever is going to be investigating and act appropriately when we have the facts.”
 
 Betsy Batchelor, a Common Council member representing the city’s 3rd Ward, said the council had not received official information about the charges. She said the council, on Wednesday, scheduled a special meeting for Thursday, during which the council planned to discuss personnel matters in a closed session.
 
 “I know this is a very important matter for the council and the city, of course,” Batchelor said.
 
 If convicted of a felony, King would not be able to hold the mayor’s office, under the state’s public officers law.
 
 GAZETTE FILE PHOTO
 
Gloversville Mayor Dayton King arrives for a court appearance on Dec. 20.