Former Buffalo Police Officer Robert Eloff has resigned from the force after pleading guilty to violating a person's civil rights.
Eloff appeared in Federal Court in Buffalo Monday morning to take plea deal. He admitted to violating Donald Hall's rights outside of Molly's Pub in May of 2014, the same night William Sager was pushed down stairs by bar manager Jeffrey Basil. Hall was a friend of Sager's whom Eloff arrested outside the bar that evening.
"He accepted responsibility. He's prepared to move forward with his life," said Herb Greenman, Eloff's attorney.
Eloff was originally charged with at least two felonies in connection to two different situations at Molly's Pub, a former bar in Buffalo's University Heights neighborhood. The night Sagar was pushed down the stairs, Eloff was off-duty, working security at Molly's Pub. He was accused of violating Sager's civil rights, when Sager was handcuffed outside the bar.
U.S. Attorney William Hochul called Eloff a "former and disgraced Buffalo Police Officer" when he was interviewed Monday following the plea.
"Facing 12-months in prison is hardly a slap on the wrist," Hochul said. "The alternative was for Eloff not to be punished or prosecuted in any way, shape or form."
That was out of the question for Bill Sager, Sr., father of Air National Guard Tech Sgt. Bill Sager.
"Would I like to see a felony? Of course," Sager, Sr. said. "Everyone would like to see a felony. When you're a felon, there's a lot of rights you lose."
Sager died months after he was pushed down a flight of stairs, by Jeffrey Basil, inside Mollys Pub.
Eloff helped drag the unconscious sager out of the bar after the push.
Sager, Sr. believes this guilty plea sets an example for other police officers. He believes it puts police officers, even those who are off duty, on notice.
Eloff will be sentenced October 3rd, and faces a maximum of one year in prison.