Cuomo subpoenas all the state's BOCES
Attorney general expands probe to all 37 organizations
The Albany Times Union by JAY JOCHNOWITZ, State editor - 3pm April 18, 2008
ALBANY - Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said today he is expanding his probe of the fraud in the state pension system to include all 37 of the BOCES organizations in the state. Cuomo's move follows Comptroller Tom DiNapolis announcement yesterday that hed removed five attorneys who worked for an upstate BOCES from the state pension system after finding they'd been listed as working far more hours than they actually did. The BOCES subpoenas come in addition to those sent to hundreds of schools districts and thousands of local government entities. Cuomo is seeking informatoin on the benefits they provide to lawyers and other professionals who may not qualify as full-time employees.
In the case of the five lawyers from the Girvin & Ferlazzo law firm whose pension privileges were revoked by DiNapoli, all worked on a very part time basis -- totaling just 196 days among them -- but each was reported to the state as having worked the equivalent of a full year. We have reason to believe some BOCES may have unclean hands in this situation and that there may have been financial benefits for the BOCES to list professionals as employees instead of as independent consultants, Cuomo said in a news release. There appears to be a chronic fraud that has occurred across New York State for many years, and we will work until we get to the bottom of it.
Cuomo said that in many cases, attorneys are showing up on multiple BOCES and school district payrolls, and at least some did no actual legal work.