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Greece police chief resigns after highway crash

Max Schulte/WXXI News file photo

Just days after an accident that totaled his town-issued vehicle, Greece Police Chief Drew Forsythe has resigned.

That word came on Monday, following the accident which happened early Thursday morning. It didn’t become known to the public until Saturday when the Monroe County District Attorney’s office issued a press release saying that it was asked by the town to investigate the accident.

The crash happened at about 1:30 a.m.  Thursday on Route 390. Forsythe, who was not seriously injured, told police that he had swerved to avoid a deer.

On Sunday, town Supervisor Bill Reilich said he had placed Forsythe on administrative leave while the investigation into the accident continues.

On Monday, Reilich released this statement:

“Due to the facts available at this time, I feel it is in the best interest of all of our residents that I ask the Chief to step aside so we can continue serving the great residents of the Town of Greece without distraction. The independent investigation will, of course, continue. As I have been made aware of more and more specifics surrounding the incident, I felt this was the most appropriate step I could take. 

This weekend, with new facts being shared, I made the decision to place the Chief on administrative leave seeking the guidance of our Labor Attorney as to what steps I could take within the law. Immediately upon his placement on leave, I appointed Deputy Chief Jason Helfer to serve as acting Chief of Police.”

Reilich announced last December that Forsythe was being chosen to replace Chief Pat Phelan, who retired after several years in that post, and was named executive director of the New York State Association of Police Chiefs.

Prior to coming to Greece, Forsythe was the Monroe County undersheriff. He was with that department from 1991 until 2017.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.