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


DiNapoli: Former Rhinebeck Employee Arrested for Working Side Job on Village Time, Falsifying Timesheets and Mileage

March 18, 2022

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and the New York State Police, today announced the arrest of former Village of Rhinebeck Superintendent of Public Works John J. Fenton, Jr., 56, of Wappingers Falls on six counts, including grand larceny, falsifying business records and corrupting the government in the 3rd degree. The arrest was a result of a joint investigation between DiNapoli’s Office, the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office, and the New York State Police.

While a full-time employee with the Village of Rhinebeck, Fenton obtained part-time zoning and code enforcement and building inspection employment with the Town of Rhinebeck, the Village of Tivoli, the Town of Red Hook and the Town of Clinton. In addition to his public employment, he conducted home inspections for his two private companies. Fenton allegedly left during the workday while working for the Village of Rhinebeck to work for the other municipalities and then falsified timesheets submitted to Red Hook to hide his double-dipping. Fenton also falsified mileage reimbursement requests to Red Hook in order to receive improper payments. Fenton also used the village’s office and other resources to work his various side jobs. As a result, he allegedly stole $2,697 from the Village of Rhinebeck and $2,978 from the Town of Red Hook.

“Mr. Fenton allegedly cheated the taxpayers of multiple municipalities to line his own pocket,” DiNapoli said. “I thank Dutchess County District Attorney William Grady and the New York State Police for partnering with my office to hold him accountable.”

“Our investigation determined that Fenton was allegedly stealing from taxpayers for his own benefit by falsifying his timesheets,” said New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen. “We have no tolerance for any type of public corruption, and I commend the New York State Comptroller’s Office, our State Police members, and the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office for their combined effort in exposing this fraud.” 

Fenton was arrested and released on an appearance ticket and is due back in court on April 7th.   

Fenton worked for the Village of Rhinebeck from April 2014 until May 2020 after he pled guilty to official misconduct for an unrelated matter while in office.

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.