Ems Director Pleads Guilty To Grand Larceny

Attorney General Spitzer, Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Antonia Novello and State Inspector General Roslynn Mauskopf today announced that the executive director of a North Country regional emergency medical services organization has pleaded guilty to stealing state money earmarked for his organization.

Following an extensive investigation by the Attorney General's Office, the state Health Department and the State Inspector General's Office, Francis X. Beaudet admitted that between January 1995 and August 2000 - while he was executive director of Mountain Lakes Regional Emergency Medical Services Council - he stole $334,910 in state funds that were intended to help fund the council's operation.

Beaudet, 44, formerly of 24 Hay Path in Watervliet, pleaded guilty in Albany County Court before Hon. Thomas Breslin to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony.

Beaudet admitted what he had done in August 2000 when it appeared state investigators were about to conduct a complete audit of all payments that had been made to the Mountain Lakes council. He resigned his position with the Mountain Lakes council in late August 2000.

"I am pleased that my office was able to work with the state Health Department and the Inspector General's Office to bring to justice an individual who stole money meant to help deliver much-needed emergency medical services to rural counties," said Attorney General Spitzer.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Novello said: "When someone takes taxpayer money that was supposed to be used to provide critical health care services to those in need and instead engages in criminal activity -- that perpetrator must be brought to justice. I applaud the work and vigilance of both the Attorney General's Office, the Inspector General's Office and my staff at the Health Department for protecting the taxpayers and ensuring this funding will go where it belongs - to benefit EMS services in the community."

New York State has designated 17 Regional EMS Councils to help localities organize and coordinate regional EMS services. These councils are made up of volunteers who serve in local fire department rescue squads, ambulance services and hospitals that provide medial response and care in the region. The regional councils - including Mountain Lakes - receive a large portion of their funding from the state of New York and the Health Department provides oversight and direction to the councils.

Mountain Lakes Regional Emergency Medical Services Council is based in Queensbury and serves Clinton, Franklin, Essex and Warren counties. The council's operations are overseen by a board of directors made up of representatives from member agencies in its coverage region. However, during the last 15 years, Beaudet was responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Mountain Lakes council through his position as executive director.

Beaudet admitted using two methods to steal money from the Mountain Lakes council. First, he altered resolutions by the organization's board of directors to raise his salary. For example, the investigation showed that in 1999 Beaudet changed the board's resolution to raise his salary from $65,000 to $91,735. In addition, Beaudet stole $239,000 from Mountain Lakes by writing checks to himself for reimbursement of allegedly job-related expenses.

Beaudet is scheduled to be sentenced July 5 before Judge Breslin. He is expected to receive two-to-six years in prison and be ordered to pay restitution to the state in the amount of $334,910.

He was released on this own recognizance pending sentencing.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Richard Ernst of the Criminal Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief William Comisky. The Attorney General was assisted in the investigation by Department of Health staff from the Bureau of EMS and the Bureau of Audit.