A former Niagara County Social Services Department worker pleaded guilty Wednesday to forging Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul's signature on a letter to a man who wanted a child support refund.
Christopher P. Niziol, 47, of Vermont Avenue, Lockport, admitted to third-degree forgery. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 18 in Lockport City Court by visiting North Tonawanda Judge Katherine D. Alexander. He faces up to a year in jail on the misdemeanor charge.
Niziol worked in the department's child support unit.
Niziol was dealing with a man who contended he had overpaid his child support and wanted a refund, said Assistant District Attorney Susan B. Bjornholm.
Niziol created a letter dated Feb. 15 — with what appeared to be Hochul's signature — telling the man the state would be sending him a check. No amount was mentioned.
Charges were filed against Niziol on March 7 and he subsequently lost his job with the county. He had worked for the county for 23 years and earned almost $44,000 in 2018.