March 21, 2022

Former Village of Rhinebeck, New York employee arrested for working side job on the Village's time

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and the New York State Police, reported the arrest of former Village of Rhinebeck Superintendent of Public Works John J. Fenton, Jr., on six counts, including grand larceny, falsifying business records and corrupting the government in the 3rd degree. The arrest was a result of a joint investigation between DiNapoli’s Office, the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office, and the New York State Police.

While a full-time employee with the Village of Rhinebeck, Fenton obtained part-time zoning and code enforcement and building inspection employment with the Town of Rhinebeck, the Village of Tivoli, the Town of Red Hook and the Town of Clinton. In addition to his public employment, Fenton conducted home inspections for his two private companies.

Fenton allegedly left during the workday while working for the Village of Rhinebeck to work for the other municipalities and then falsified timesheets submitted to Red Hook to hide his double-dipping. Fenton also falsified mileage reimbursement requests to Red Hook in order to receive improper payments. In addition Fenton allegedly used the village’s office and other resources to work his various side jobs. As a result, he allegedly stole $2,697 from the Village of Rhinebeck and $2,978 from the Town of Red Hook.

“Mr. Fenton allegedly cheated the taxpayers of multiple municipalities to line his own pocket,” DiNapoli said. “I thank Dutchess County District Attorney William Grady and the New York State Police for partnering with my office to hold him accountable.”

Fenton was allegedly stealing from taxpayers for his own benefit by falsifying his timesheets, said New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen. “We have no tolerance for any type of public corruption, and I commend the New York State Comptroller’s Office, our State Police members, and the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office for their combined effort in exposing this fraud.” 

Fenton was arrested and released on an appearance ticket and is due back in court on April 7th.    

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 Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has committed to fighting public corruption and encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse. New Yorkers can report allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555, by filing a complaint online at investigations@osc.ny.gov, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.

 

 

The Discipline Book - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public officers and employees in New York State set out as an e-book. For more about this electronic handbook, click HERE.

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances- The text of this publication focuses on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. For more information click HERE.

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The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual -This e-book reviews the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. Click HERE for more information.

 

 

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