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Regional News

Auditors Found State Employee Never Worked Fridays

By Dave Bullard

Oswego, NY – State auditors looked into a claim involving an employee at a state facility in Rome. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said what they found stunned even those who look for fraud every day.

"Even after three years on the job, every now and then findings of an audit shock and surprise me," said DiNapoli.

Auditors found that state employee Howard Dean of Locke in Cayuga County never worked a single Friday in 17 years of running the state center in Rome that cooks meals for the area prison. DiNapoli says Dean admitted to it.

He claims Dean's bosses let him use a state car he wasn't entitled to have, stay in cheap state-owned houses he wasn't entitled to stay in, and assigned him to facilities in Auburn and Albany, which let him submit bills for his travel expenses.

DiNapoli claims he got reimbursed for meals eaten out even when he ate at the facility, and billed the state for 75 hotel room nights he never used.

"This certainly gives new meaning to the phrase, 'casual Fridays.' In this case, he not only dressed down, but he didn't even bother to show up on Fridays. Quite simply, this is outrageous and it's also outrageous that the former director supervisors condoned and signed off on some of this," said DiNapoli.

According to DiNapoli, the state wants back the salary and pension money from the Fridays Dean didn't work. He's asking local officials to consider criminal charges against Dean.