A state employee has been fired and his case referred to the Albany County District Attorney's office after an investigation determined he was paid more than $18,000 by the state for days when he was absent and working as a private consultant.
Larry Ritter, affirmative action and equal employment opportunity officer for the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, was fired Monday after state Inspector General Joseph Fisch claimed in a report that Ritter conducted 40 private training programs from 2003 to 2007 during the state workday while falsely reporting on his time sheets that he was doing OTDA work.
In addition, he worked without OTDA permission, a violation of agency policy. OTDA had denied Ritter permission to conduct the private trainings, because the work was "virtually identical" to his OTDA
Fisch said Ritter may be prosecuted for fraud, larceny and official misconduct.
Ritter, 52, earned $87,383 a year training OTDA's 2,300 employees regarding sexual harassment and diversity matters out of the Albany office. He is also the husband of Diane Jones Ritter, commissioner of the state Office of Mental Retardation and Disabilities Services.