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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sometimes Fraud Does Get Investigated

Take heart taxpayers, sometimes people who defraud public agencies do get investigated and get caught. Yesterday's Times Union provided ample proof that investigators do followup on complaints like the ones filed involving the Town Supervisor affirming under penalty of perjury on behalf of the entire Town Board, that the Assessor was eligible for a pension waiver when the facts prove otherwise.

You may recall that the Supervisor, on behalf of the "appointing authority", the Town Board, affirmed under penalty of perjury that the Assessor, John Harkin, was eligible for a waiver from the the State Civil Service Commission which allowed him to collect his full pension from the State Retirement System and his town salary. To be eligible, Evers had to swear there was no other qualified non retiree available for appointment.

Unfortunately, evidenced provided to State Officials including the State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, proved that another, even more qualified individual was available to the Town Board for appointment, but the Board in a 3-2 vote chose not to appoint him. Their choice, but that left no choice for Mr. Harkin regarding obtaining a waiver because the very presence of a qualified non retiree willing to accept the job eliminated him for waiver eligibility.

For more than a month, the rest of the Town Board has done nothing to reject Evers action on their behalf, making the entire board more complicit in the scam to defraud the State Retirement System. When the State acts to rescind the waiver based on the evidence provided to officials, the entire Town Board will look just as bad as Evers for doing absolutely nothing to reject the perjurious documents filed by Evers on their behalf.

The Times Union reports the arrest of a Ballston Spa man for committing insurance and workers compensation fraud. The article reads in part, "Michael R. Waldron, 39, of Greenfield Avenue, was arrested Friday for allegedly collection $2,450 in workers' compensation benefits for lost wages while falsely claiming that an injury prevented him from working.

Waldron was charged with insurance fraud and workers' compensation fraud. He is accused of filing documents with the Insurance Fund declaring that he was not working, when investigators say he was installing dry wall."

Here in North Greenbush, it's an elected official, the Town Supervisor, who submitted false affirmations to the State in order to obtain a financial benefit for his political friend and benefactor that he did not qualify for and did not deserve. His friend, incidentally, went right along with the scam and affixed his signature to the same Civil Service form CSC 20 which the Supervisor signed under penalty of perjury.

So boys, stay tuned and when the State does act on the documents provided demonstrating the fraud, none of you on the Town Board will look so good either, for taking no action to disavow the false claim made in your good name as the Appointing Authority of the Town of North Greenbush.

By the way, the accused in the insurance fraud case got a poultry $2,450 for his false claim. The Assessor will receive an extra twenty grand or so from taxpayers because of the waiver granted by the State which allows him to earn without limit, more than $25,500 annually from a municipality. Absent the waiver, he could not collect his pension and earn more than that $25,500 amount from the town. He will collect a salary of about $45,000 with the waiver. For the $2,450 in ill gotten insurance fraud gains, the accused, if convicted, could get up to a year in jail and pay fines. Just what the town needs, another felon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

more good work by an HONEST taxpayer rooting out DISHONEST public officals......