New York State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro today announced the sentencing of a former New York State corrections officer who defrauded the State through the submission of improperly altered leave documents and stole more than $4,200 in benefits to which he was not entitled.
Brendon Clontz, 31, of Buffalo, a former corrections officer with the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, who submitted his resignation from State service upon his guilty plea earlier this month to larceny as a misdemeanor, paid full restitution of $4,268.69 to the State this week and was sentenced today in Wyoming County Court to a conditional discharge.
An investigation by the Offices of the Inspector General found that Clontz began receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits in January 2018 for a December 2017 injury that occurred while working at Wyoming Correctional Facility. Clontz subsequently submitted two altered “Documentation for Workers’ Compensation Leave” forms as well as a “Work Release Form”, all purportedly completed and signed by his treating medical providers and intended to justify Clontz’s absences from work. The investigation revealed that the documents had been altered from those originally provided to Clontz by the medical providers. As a result of his intentional submission of altered documents, Clontz obtained $4,268.69 in Workers’ Compensation indemnity benefits between January 2018 and June 2018 to which he was not entitled.
“This defendant’s blatant greed and the corruption of his taxpayer-financed position make him wholly unfit for public service,” said Inspector General Tagliafierro. “His payment of full restitution and forfeiture of his State career are completely fitting, and his prosecution sends a clear message that our office will pursue anyone who violates the public trust.”
Inspector General Tagliafierro thanked the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision for their assistance with the investigation, the New York State Police for their assistance with the arrest, and Wyoming County District Attorney Donald G. O’Geen and his office for prosecuting this matter.