TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County District Attorney's Office announced a Town of Tonawanda police officer and his wife have been arraigned on false accident report charges.
37-year-old Howard M. Scholl, III, an officer with the Town of Tonawanda police and his wife, 35-year-old Aimee L. Scholl, were arraigned before Erie County Court Judge Susan Eagan Thursday.
Howard M. Scholl, III has been charged with one count of falsifying business records in the first degree, a class “E” felony, and one count of insurance fraud in the fifth degree, a class “A” misdemeanor.
Aimee L. Scholl has been charged with one count of falsifying business records in the first degree, a class “E” felony.
It is alleged around 11:50 the night of January 19, 2019 while off-duty Howard Scholl was driving an SUV on Englewood Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda when he struck another vehicle. Sources close to the investigation told 7 Eyewitness News in February 2019 that Scholl III was coming from a Town of Tonawanda SWAT Team Awards Dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Aimee was in the passenger seat at the time of the crash, Howard and Aimee allegedly misled officers about who was driving in order hide that Howard had been drinking before the crash.
It is also alleged that Howard called his insurance provider and falsely stated Aimee was driving the SUV at the time of the crash.
In a news release issued in February 2019, former Town of Tonawanda Police Chief Jerome Uschold said an internal investigation was launched following that incident, "regarding standards of off-duty conduct and whether or not there were any violations of the law." Uschold said he personally referred the matter to the Erie County District Attorney's Office, "in the interest of transparent and to sustain community trust."
According to Uschold, the internal investigation revealed that, "violations of our professional standards of conduct and Departmental rules and regulations did occur."
Officer Scholl was suspended without pay pending termination proceedings.
In August 2019, State Supreme Court Judge Mark Grisanti ruled in favor of Howard Scholl, ordering that he be reinstated with back pay.
Grisanti stated town officials improperly handled the case.
Howard and Aimee Scholl are scheduled to return August 12 for a pre-trial conference. They remain released on their own recognizance.