The Niagara County Department of Social Services worker who pleaded admitted to forging Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul's name on a letter to a client was granted a conditional discharge Wednesday.

Christopher P. Niziol, 47, of Vermont Ave., Lockport, was ordered to pay $550 in fines and complete 100 hours of community service for his conviction of third-degree forgery, a misdemeanor. 

According to defense attorney Nicholas D'Angelo, Niziol forged Hocul's name on a letter to a man who claimed he was owed child support payments. In the letter, Niziol wrote the state would be forwarding child support checks to that man, although he never received the money.

"In order to get them (the man and his family) to stop harassing him, he decided to write this letter from the Lt. Gov.’s office," D'Angelo said. "It was a mistake, he admitted it was a mistake. He is very remorseful for his actions.”

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