New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott today announced the arrest of a State employee on charges he submitted fraudulent forms showing he served two days of jury service that he never went to and submitted bogus time and attendance records enabling him to receive full pay for days he was not working.
Howard V. Gushue, Jr., 48, of Fort Plain, a plumber and steamfitter for the New York State Canal Corporation, was arrested and charged with Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a felony, and Official Misconduct, a misdemeanor.
“This defendant allegedly chose a criminal course of deception to try and justify unearned paid days off at taxpayer expense,” said Inspector General Leahy Scott. “This arrest should send a clear message that my law enforcement partners and I will not tolerate such blatant violations of the public trust.”
An investigation by Inspector General Leahy Scott found that last June Gushue submitted a forged Montgomery County Jury Duty Proof of Service form to his State job to justify two paid days off from work without having to claim vacation or personal time. Gushue also filled out and submitted an Employee Application for Leave of Absence and Time and Attendance records indicating two days of jury service he never attended. Gushue agreed to be interviewed during the investigation where he told the Inspector General, “I’ll be straight with you. . . . I was not there. . . I called that morning and they said the trial had been canceled.”
Gushue was arraigned on the charges in the City of Utica Court and released on his own recognizance pending his reappearance in court on March 28, 2019.
Inspector General Leahy Scott thanked the State Canal Corporation for their assistance with the investigation, the New York State Police for their assistance with the arrest and Oneida County District Attorney Scott D. McNamara and his office for prosecuting this case.
The Defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.