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Former Syracuse police spokesman pleads guilty to stealing $32,000 from NY state

Former Syracuse police sergeant and spokesperson Tom Connellan has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $32,000 from New York state in unearned wages. The theft comes from falsifying reports he made for a part-time job.

While Connellan worked as a police sergeant he also had a part-time job as a state ATM inspector. The New York State Office of the Inspector General’s investigation discovered that hundreds of ATM inspection reports he filled out were falsified to conceal the fact that he was not doing that job. The investigation also revealed that Connellan was on duty for his police department job when he was falsely reporting performed inspections. He also never told the police department about his ATM inspection job.

In a statement, Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott called it a ‘violation of trust,’ and said Connellan has reimbursed the state for the money he stole. She recommended Connellan's pension be recalculated to exclude time he never worked at the state banking job. 

As part of Connellan’s plea deal he will avoid jail time and serve three years of probation.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.