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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015


Middletown Employee Charged With Theft

Former Plant Operator Billed Two Municipalities for the Same Hours Worked

December 30, 2021

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler and the New York State Police announced the arrest of Thomas McKelevey, 70, of Middletown for allegedly stealing nearly $90,000 from the City of Middletown by claiming overlapping hours on his time sheets when he worked for both the City of Middletown and the Town of Crawford from 2012 to 2019. In addition to allegedly defrauding the municipalities, McKelvey’s deception allowed him to falsely inflate his retirement benefit and defraud the pension system in excess of $5,000.

McKelevey was a full-time plant operator at the Middletown sewer plant. At the same time, he worked as the full-time water/sewer superintendent for Crawford, a neighboring town. From 2012-2019, McKelevey allegedly submitted time sheets to Middletown and Crawford with overlapping hours for the same time period. For example, on March 14, 2017, McKelevey’s time records for Middletown indicate that he worked 7:00 a.m. – 3 p.m., while his time sheet for that same day at Crawford stated that he worked from 12:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

McKelevey retired from both positions in 2019, and as a result of the inflation of total public employment hours he worked, he received an enhanced retirement benefit that he was not entitled to. Since receiving his pension, he has been overpaid more than $5,000.

“Mr. McKelevey shamefully tried to game the system by getting paid for being in two places at the same time,” DiNapoli said. “Now, thanks to my partnership with District Attorney Hoovler and the New York State Police, he will face the consequences for his actions.”

“I commend and thank our partners from the Comptroller’s Office and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office,” New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said. “This case involved a public employee who stole from taxpayers for his own personal benefit. The State Police stands ready to assist in investigating and apprehending those individuals willing to engage in fraudulent acts. This arrest should serve as a reminder that those who carry out such deliberate scams will be held accountable for their crimes and brought to justice.”

McKelevey was arraigned before Judge Stephen Brockett in the City of Middletown Court, on charges of Retirement and Social Security law Section 111(2)(b), defrauding the New York State pension fund, grand larceny in the third degree, and grand larceny in the second degree. He was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to appear in the City of Middletown court on January 12, 2022 and the Village of Walden court on January 13, 2022.

He was employed by Crawford from 1983 until his retirement on December 31, 2018. He was employed by Middletown from 1977 until his retirement on December 31, 2018.

Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has committed to fighting public corruption 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 [email protected], or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.