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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

June 11, 2015, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli: Audit Details Double-Dipping by Buffalo City School District Technician

Employee Sentenced After Comptroller Uncovers Overlapping Hours Worked At Two Public Schools

A Buffalo City School District technician was sentenced today for claiming simultaneous work hours at two public school districts, according to an audit and investigation released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Noe Rodriguez, 38, of Buffalo, was prosecuted by Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III and sentenced today in Erie County Court to five years probation, 100 hours of community service and $18,229 in restitution, which he paid. Rodriguez pleaded guilty in April to scheming to defraud in the first degree, a class E felony.

“Mr. Rodriguez took advantage of lax supervision to scam taxpayers and pocket money he did not earn,” DiNapoli said, “School officials need to verify time records and keep an eye on employees. I thank District Attorney Sedita for his continued partnership in holding those who commit fraud accountable.”

DiNapoli’s audit found that Rodriguez, an audio visual equipment technician, was paid for full work days at the Buffalo district while he was also clocked in at the Lake Shore school district 25 miles away.

Auditors and investigators found that district supervisors did not properly supervise its information technology (IT) technicians or verify their work hours. They also failed to properly monitor a vendor’s IT specialists.

DiNapoli recommended that the Buffalo City School District:

  • Adopt written policies governing the supervision of field employees from the IT and plant departments who work at the service center;
  • Have field employees maintain time records indicating the actual hours worked and have them certified by the employee and a direct supervisor; and
  • Ensure that IT department supervisors monitor vendor work to ensure it meets contractual requirements.

The Buffalo City School District agreed with the Comptroller’s findings. Their response is included in the final audit report, which can be viewed here: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/schools/2015/buffalo.pdf

Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has committed to fighting public corruption and fraud 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.state.ny.us, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 14th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.

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