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Buffalo police officer pleads guilty to falsely claiming injury

A former Buffalo police officer pleaded guilty to falsely claiming an on-duty injury, officials said Thursday.

Sean Potter, 52, of Tonawanda, was granted a one-year conditional discharge by Buffalo City Judge Craig D. Hannah on Thursday. Potter had pleaded guilty to second-degree offering a false instrument in connection with the incident, which occurred in September, according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

Potter, a 26-year veteran of the police department, had to resign from the force before the plea, the DA's Office stated.

Michael J. Flaherty Jr., acting District Attorney, said after the plea that "police work is inherently dangerous" and "it is discouraging and disheartening to learn that some officers are willing to game the system at our expense."

Flaherty said, in a release, that Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda "has made it a clear priority" to accommodate officers injured on duty. But, according to Flaherty, "when his investigators discover a potential fraud, as happened, here, he refers the case to us for the appropriate prosecution."

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