Suspended police officer resigns

JOHNSTOWN – A city police officer who was suspended last summer resigned earlier this month in the midst of his disciplinary hearing.

Police Chief Mark Gifford on Tuesday said former Johnstown police Officer Jason Kohout resigned March 7 during a disciplinary hearing for him in Johnstown.

He said the officer was represented by Police Benevolent Association attorney John Grant, who couldn’t be reached Tuesday or this morning for comment.

The chief said he can’t say publicly the reason for Kohout’s resignation or why he was suspended.

Kohout was suspended by the city July 5 without pay, but after 30 days, he had his pay reinstated.

Mayor Sarah Slingerland has declined to comment on the matter, saying it is a confidential personnel issue.

Johnstown PBA President Eric Johnson couldn’t be reached for comment this morning.

Gifford said with Kohout’s resignation, the Johnstown Police Department is down to 23 officers. He said Kohout will be replaced.

Kohout is the second city police official to resign in the middle of a disciplinary hearing in recent years.

Former police Chief Greg Horning retired May 24, 2011, while facing disciplinary charges that never were made public. Horning had been on leave and served a dozen years as chief.

Kohout had earned an annual salary of about $50,000 as a night-shift officer. City officials have not said what his disciplinary hearing was about, but said it had nothing to do with an incident in June 2009, when Kohout was an off-duty Gloversville police officer.

The incident in Montgomery County involved a Sprakers man who claimed he was beaten at a fundraiser for the Fultonville Volunteer Fire Department.

According to a June 2010 lawsuit filed by victim Timothy Tambasco, Kohout used “excessive or unreasonable force” to help other officers detain Tambasco.