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High court: Disgraced police chief can serve on town council

July 19, 2021 GMT

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Delaware’s high court has ruled that a former small-town police chief who was convicted of official misconduct can hold public office.

News outlets report that the Delaware Supreme Court ruled Friday that former Newport Police Chief Michael Capriglione can hold the town commission seat he was elected to earlier this year.

The one-page order overturns a lower court’s ruling that barred Capriglione from holding office, stating that he shall be allowed to take the oath of office. The court said it will explain its legal rationale in a more thorough opinion later.

“I feel vindicated,” Capriglione said.

Attorney General Kathy Jennings, who fought to bar Capriglione from the seat, was “disappointed” in the decision.

“Abusing public office ought to be at the top of the list of disqualifications from holding future office,” Jennings said.

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Capriglione was sentenced to probation and ordered to surrender his police certification in 2019 after crashing his car into another vehicle in the department parking lot and trying to cover it up. Authorities said he lied to other officers about how the other car was damaged and ordered the destruction of video footage of the 2018 incident. State police computer technicians recovered the footage.