Welch pleads guilty to non-criminal offense

T he former Whitehall Rec. director who resigned last month amid allegations he shot a child with an air-powered rifle pleaded guilty to a non-criminal charge during a village court hearing last week.

Daniel Welch, 52, of Whitehall was charged with second degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, following the Oct. 25 incident in which a 13 year-old boy was struck in the backside with a projectile from a gun while he was at the Rec. Center.

Welch pleaded guilty to harassment, a non-criminal violation, and was sentenced to a conditional discharge.

Following the incident, the parent’s child lodged a formal complaint with the Whitehall Police Department and town Supervisor Richard “Geezer” Gordon.

Welch resigned from his role as director following the complaint.

The child didn’t suffer any serious injuries but did reportedly have a welt where he was struck.
Welch has said the incident was an accident.

A retired cop, Welch had served as the Rec. director for less than a year at the time of the incident.

Rec. Center volunteer Jack Hoagland has assumed the duty of Rec. Center until the town board makes a decision on a permanent director at the beginning of the year.

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