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Post date: February 25 2004

Schroeppel Highway Superintendent Charged With Multiple Felonies

State Attorney General Spitzer today announced that the Town Highway Superintendent in the Oswego County community of Schroeppel was arrested on felony charges stemming from a series of actions in which it is alleged that he stole thousands of dollars in government resources for his own personal gain.

Scott Prior, 44, of the Village of Phoenix was arrested and arraigned before Schroeppel Town Justice Frances Ciardullo on February 24 and charged with Defrauding the Government, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, and Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, all class "E" felonies. He was also charged with misdemeanor counts of Official Misconduct and Petit Larceny.

It is alleged that between April 2000 though December 2003 Prior defrauded the Town of Schroeppel, stole property and money, falsified Town business records to conceal his crimes, and made unauthorized use of Town resources for his personal benefit.

The felony complaint alleges that Prior, who also operates a private enterprise grinding and removing tree stumps, submitted fraudulent vouchers to the Town for more than $2,500 in parts used to rebuild a Vermeer stump grinder for his private business. It is further alleged that, while Town Highway Superintendent, Prior stole $1,050 from the Town, after concocting a third-party payment scheme in which he approved a phony voucher for stump grinding and removal services performed by another individual. The Town provided payment to this individual, who cashed the check, and delivered the proceeds to the defendant. Prior is also accused of stealing fuel and firewood from the Town of Schroeppel and using its employees and equipment to perform work at his business, farm, and residence.

The case was referred to the Attorney General by the State Comptroller.

Attorney General Spitzer thanked the troopers of State Police Troop D for their assistance in the case.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Stephen J. Maher of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau.