(Greece, N.Y.) - A Greece police officer was arrested Monday and charged with accepting a bribe.
Prosecutors allege that when Gary Pignato was called to a domestic dispute, he removed a woman who was drunk and disorderly at the request of her boyfriend, but she was never charged.
Sources close to the investigation said Pignato received sexual favors in exchange for letting the woman go and keeping her probation record clean.
Assistant District Attorney Bill Gargan said, "He was one of the officers that responded…the proof will show that the conduct occurred after the professional conduct."
Pignato is also charged with coercion and official misconduct.
This is not the first time he's been accused of misconduct. In the late 1990s, Pignato worked for the Rochester Police Department. He was fired for two counts of official misconduct.
Pignato sued to get his job back, saying he was terminated because of his race, but the appellate court rejected that explanation. He was hired by Greece police in 2002.
On Monday, the deputy chief escorted Pignato as he turned himself over to New York State Police.
Pignato has been taken off road patrol and has been working a desk job.
He was released without bail, but was served with an order of protection. The law prevents him from carrying a firearm under the circumstances, so he was ordered to turn over his service revolver.
Greece Police Chief Merritt Rahn said, “We can say the system works. It’s a credit to the police department that people felt they could call…and trust that something would be done and it won’t be buried someplace.”
This was the second time in six months a Greece police officer has been indicted.
In September, Officer Nick Joseph was indicted on charges related to his involvement in a hit-and-run crash on I-390 that lead to a pregnant woman delivering a premature baby who was hospitalized for months.
"The old saying was ‘a bad apple doesn't spoil the bunch.’ In this case, two bad apples don't spoil the bunch, but we do a good job out there and we're not afraid to take what comes to us,” Rahn said. “The system works because we're not afraid to air our dirty laundry."