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Former Md. police chief pleads guilty to misconduct in office

The former chief of the Greensboro Police Department on Friday received a suspended sentence and probation after pleading guilty to misconduct in office for lying on a form filed with a state agency.

Michael Petyo left the department in 2018 in the midst of a state investigation into the department’s hiring of Thomas Webster IV, the officer involved in the death of 19-year-old Anton Black.

The Office of the State Prosecutor charged Petyo with misconduct in November for making factual misrepresentations on an application for certification filed on behalf of Webster.

Caroline County Circuit Judge Paul M. Bowman sentenced Petyo to two years in prison and suspended that sentence, placing him on three years’ supervised probation, according to a news release from the Office of the State Prosecutor.

The application Petyo filed on Webster’s behalf is given to the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commission to certify officers to carry out their duties in the state. The commission launched a review last year after it learned of nearly 30 “use of force” incidents from Webster’s time in Dover, Delaware, that were not disclosed on his application. The commission decertified Webster in July.

“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,” State Prosecutor Charlton Howard III said in a statement.

Petyo, who joined the police department in Camden, Delaware, after leaving Greensboro, was placed on leave shortly after the charges were announced.

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