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Officials: State employee skipped Fridays

April 14, 2010 at 5:48 PM

ALBANY, N.Y., April 14 (UPI) -- New York state officials said a retired prison food services director scammed nearly $500,000 from the state in various ways, including taking off Fridays.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Inspector General Joseph Fisch said their investigation found Howard Dean, 64, of Locke, bilked the state Treasury of about $230,000 by skipping work at the state's Food Production Center in Rome every Friday for 17 years but claiming the hours on his time cards, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

The report said Dean "freely admitted" to skipping work on Fridays.

"Quite simply, this is outrageous," DiNapoli said.

The report said Dean was also able to scam the state out of $240,000 in travel expenses by having his supervisors falsely list his official work station as Albany.

"One can liken this to a robbery without a gun, with his supervisors serving as lookouts," Fisch said.

The officials said they believe Dean should repay the taxpayer funds and they may go after his $57,381 state pension.

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