The former police chief of a small Eastern Shore town that was embroiled in controversy over the in-custody death of a black teenager last year was charged with misconduct in office in an unrelated case.

In a release, the Office of the State Prosecutor wrote that Mike Petyo, the former Greensboro Police Chief in Caroline County, made “factual misrepresentations in an Application for Certification which he filed on behalf of one of his police officers.”


The application is filed with the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission and reviewed to certify police officers for duty throughout the state, the office wrote.

“The Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission relies on honest representations from Chiefs to ensure that people who are certified meet the requirements for certification,” said Acting State Prosecutor Kelly B. Madigan. “We must hold our law enforcement supervisors to the highest standard and misrepresentations in the certification process cannot be tolerated.”

Petyo declined to comment or say whether he has retained an attorney.

In the small town of about 1,800 people, the department came under fire after 19-year-old Anton Black died in police custody the evening of Sept. 15, 2018. Police say they attempted to detain Black while investigating a 911 call about a possible abduction.

Black suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while being arrested and an autopsy found that while his death was an accident — with mental illness and an underlying heart condition being contributing factors — his struggle with officers likely contributed to it.

One of the officers involved in Black’s arrest, Thomas Webster IV, lost his certification in July, the Associated Press reported, after state officials said he failed to disclose nearly 30 use-of-force reports from his police career in Dover, Delaware.

The State Prosecutor’s Office did not say which officer Petyo submitted the application on behalf of. Charges have not yet been entered into Maryland’s online court system.

Petyo left the Greensboro Police Department in January to join a department in Delaware, where he lives.