New York – A Norwood police officer is accused of asking for and accepting a bribe – a bribe that was a sexual favor.
St. Lawrence County sheriff’s deputies charged 32 year old Seth Donalis of Massena on Tuesday with third-degree bribe receiving and official misconduct.
The alleged victim is a 31 year old woman, who is the subject of a criminal investigation.
As a patrolman with the Norwood Police Department, Donalis is accused of asking the woman for a sexual favor.
District Attorney Gary Pasqua tells 7 News the woman told the DA’s office about the alleged bribe.
“I want the people of St. Lawrence County to know that any allegation like this will be taken seriously and we are going to treat any individual who’s accused of committing an offense the same way regardless of their occupation, regardless of their status in the community,” said Pasqua.
Pasqua’s office notified the sheriff’s office, which worked with Massena Homeland Security Investigations. Together they used surveillance equipment and recorded a phone conversation to make their case.
Norwood Mayor Tim Levison said he was “surprised” and “upset” when he heard the news about Donalis, a part-time officer with the police department. The mayor says Donalis has been suspended without pay.
Meanwhile investigators are not ruling out there may be other alleged victims. If you have information, call 315-379-2360.
“We do want to make sure we’re thorough. We want to make sure if there are other victims, that they do come forward. So just want to make sure there’s an avenue for other victims if they want to file a complaint, they have the sheriff’s office number, the detective division, and we field any complaints and follow through,” said St. Lawrence County Undersheriff Brooks Bigwarfe.
Donalis was arraigned in Canton Town Court and was released under probation supervision. We tried to reach out to him, his lawyer and the officer in charge of the Norwood Police Department, but our calls have not been returned.
The DA says Donalis could face up to seven years in prison if convicted of the charges.