Preston Pleads Guilty to Official Misconduct
Former Broome County Executive Debra Preston has pleaded guilty to one count of official misconduct in connection with her use of a credit card issued to the Town of Conklin.
Preston entered the plea in Binghamton City Court on Monday, one week after she was charged with three misdemeanor counts of official misconduct.
The card Preston had used was issued to her and to the town. She acknowledged that she bought items with the card for her personal use.
Preston was fined $1,000 under a plea deal. A conviction for official misconduct carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail.
The credit card issue generated headlines last October as the Republican Preston was running for reelection against Democratic challenger Jason Garnar.
Preston insisted the timing was an "October surprise" aimed at derailing her campaign. Garnar, who easily defeated Preston in the November election, has said he and his campaign had nothing to do with the matter going public.
The official misconduct case was prosecuted by Schuyler County District Attorney Joseph Fazzary. He was appointed special prosecutor after Broome County District Attorney Stephen Cornwell recused himself from the matter.
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