Howard Scholl (2019)
On January 19, 2019, Town of Tonawanda New York Police Department Officer Howard Scholl was off-duty when he ran a stop sign and hit another vehicle. Scholl, who had been drinking, originally claimed that his wife had been driving. Responding officers did not perform a breathalizer test.
In February 2019, Scholl was suspended without pay.
On May 23, 2019, the Erie County District Attorney announced that Scholl and his wife had been arraigned on one count of Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree and one count of Insurance Fraud in the Fifth Degree, both misdemeanors.
In August 2019, the State Supreme Court ruled that Scholl should not have been suspended without pay, but that the town should have used the union's collective bargaining agreement. Scholl was reinstated, and was owed approximately $200,000 in back pay.
On June 25, 2020, the Erie County District Attorney charged Scholl and his wife with felony counts of falsifying business records. Scholl faced an additional misdemeanor count of insurance fraud.
A passenger in the second vehicle filed a civil suit against Scholl over injuries received in the crash.
In May 2021, the state appeals court ruled that discipline against Scholl could be determined by the town, rather than a mediator, and that Scholl was owed back pay and benefits.
On November 18, 2021, Scholl pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of falsifying business records.
Video from a restaurant showed Scholl driving the vehicle.
- Evan Anstey, Town of Tonawanda police officer resigns, pleads guilty after claiming his wife caused crash, WIVB, 2021-11-18
- Stephen T. Watson, Town of Tonawanda wants to fire officer under investigation by DA, Buffalo News, 2019-02-13
- Al Vaughters, Suspended Town of Tonawanda police officer ordered to be reinstated, receive back pay, WIVB, 2019-08-01
- Stephen T. Watson, Discipline records shine light on Tonawanda police response to officer's off-duty crash, Buffalo News, 2021-04-26
- Off-Duty Officer and Wife Charged After Crash, Erie County District Attorney's Office, 2019-05-23
- Judge orders suspended Town of Tonawanda officer under investigation to be reinstated, WKBW, 2019-08-01
- Off-Duty Police Officer & Wife Indicted for False Accident Report Following Crash, Erie County District Attorney's Office, 2020-06-25
- Aaron Besecker, Appeals court rules Town Board controls punishment for suspended Tonawanda police officer, Buffalo News, 2021-05-08