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      Prison supervisor took Fridays off for 17 years

      State investigators say an prison supervisor at the Oneida Correctional Facility near Rome took Fridays off for 17 years as part of a half million dollar scheme to defraud taxpayers.

      State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Inspector General Joseph Fisch told reporters at a news conference in Albany Tuesday morning they uncovered the "fraud" by Howard Dean, the former director of the food processing center at Oneida Correctional. They claim that for the last 17 years, Dean not only took Fridays off, he also submitted false hotel and travel expense vouchers and falsified his time sheets.

      Inspector General Fisch called it a "robbery without a gun", with Dean's supervisors serving as lookouts.

      Details of the investigation have been turned over to the Oneida County District Attorney's office. No charges have been filed and Dean is not under arrest.

      DiNapoli says a second audit is underway to determine the extent to which other prison employees or Dean's superiors were involved.Reached by phone at his home in Locke, Howard Dean said he would not comment until I see the release. When reporter Jim Kenyon asked if he did in fact take Friday TMs off for 17 years, Dean replied, with the approval of Albany, yes.

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