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Post date: October 1 2013

A.G. Schneiderman & Comptroller DiNapoli Announce Arrest Of Highway Superintendent For Stealing More Than $50k In Goods & Services

Joint Investigation Reveals Funds Were Stolen At Town's Expense

Criminal Complaint Alleges Highway Superintendent Submitted 178 Fraudulent Vouchers To The Town Of Erin

BINGHAMTON - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today the arrest of Roger Burlew, Highway Superintendent for the Town of Erin, for stealing more than $50,000 in goods and services. The Attorney General's criminal complaint alleges Burlew stole the money by submitting fraudulent vouchers for payment to the Town of Erin. The Joint Task Force on Public Integrity is a cooperative effort between Attorney General Schneiderman's and Comptroller DiNapoli's offices to root out public corruption and maximize the resources of each office. 

"Corrupt public servants who abuse their official positions undermine the public's confidence in government. Betraying the public's trust and stealing money from taxpayers to line their pockets is unacceptable. I will work to protect every cent of taxpayer money from anyone who takes personal liberties with it," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "I want to thank Comptroller DiNapoli for working with us to root out corruption in local governments."

"Mr. Burlew looted the town garage to fix his tractor and support his business as a mechanic," Comptroller DiNapoli said. "This prosecution gives notice to those who would blur the line between public and private property. I thank Attorney General Schneiderman and staff for their diligent anti-corruption efforts."

Burlew is charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, and four counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing, a Class E Felony. He was arraigned in Town of Erin Court by the Honorable Judge Richard Woolever and released on bail. He faces a maximum of five to fifteen years in state prison if convicted of the highest charge filed against him. 

According to the criminal complaint, Burlew, who was appointed Highway Superintendent in 1998, submitted at least 178 fraudulent vouchers to the Town of Erin since 2007. The complaint alleges that Burlew submitted vouchers for parts for equipment the Town does not own. One such voucher referenced the purchase of forklift tires when the Highway Department does not have a forklift. Further, the complaint alleges Burlew submitted a voucher for payment for 10 bundles of 10 reciprocating saw blades despite the fact that the Highway Department does not have a reciprocating saw. 

Assistant Attorney General Colleen Glavin of the Public Integrity Bureau is prosecuting the case, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Stacy Aronowitz, Chief William E. Schaeffer, and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan. The prosecutors were assisted by Investigations Bureau Investigator Joel Cordone, under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Richard Doyle, Deputy Chief Antoine Karam, and Chief Dominick Zarrella, and the Comptroller's Investigations and Local Government and School Accountability units.

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

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