Hudson Valley Supervisor Had Taxpayers Pay For Private Business
A Hudson Valley village of public works supervisor admitted he stole over $17,000 to pay people who worked for his private business.
On Monday, Peter Parks, 62, of Liberty, pleaded guilty before the Sullivan County Court to grand larceny, a class D felony, for stealing more than $17,000 from the Village of Liberty in his former role as working supervisor of the Village’s Department of Public Works.
Under oath before the Court, Parks admitted that, between 2014 and 2019, he approved Village of Liberty payroll documents which he knew falsely indicated that two DPW employees had been working for the Village at times that they were actually working for Parks’ own private construction business. Under Parks’ supervision, the men completed private construction projects for Peter Parks Construction, but Parks submitted documents to the Village stating the men were working those hours for the Village DPW, defrauding the Village out of $17,718.18.
“Village of Liberty taxpayers trusted Peter Parks to be honest. He violated and abused the public’s confidence in him to his own benefit. There is no justification for having hardworking Village taxpayers pay people who were working at his private business,"Sullivan County’s Acting District Attorney Meagan K. Galligan said in a press release.
Parks could face 2 1/3 to 7 years of incarceration on this conviction. If Parks complies with all of the conditions of his release pending sentencing and produces at least $6,000 in restitution upfront on the date of sentencing, scheduled for January 14, 2021, Acting Sullivan County Court Judge Stephan Schick has agreed to sentence Parks to five years of felony probation supervision, with the special condition that he repay the rest of the money or face re-sentencing, which could include prison time.
“Integrity comes from the top. Our Village’s leaders have to set an example for all of our employees to follow. I want thank our police department and District Attorney’s Office, including Acting DA Galligan, for taking this investigation seriously and putting in the hard work and time necessary to secure a conviction," Village of Liberty Mayor Ron Staback said.
Galligan thanked the Village of Liberty Police Department for their work on this case.