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What you need to know for 04/29/2017

O.D. Heck worker admits theft

O.D. Heck worker admits theft

Pilfering $12,000 from the state landed a Niskayuna man five years of probation and cost him a job t

Pilfering $12,000 from the state landed a Niskayuna man five years of probation and cost him a job that paid more than four times that amount in annual salary.

Jason Alderson, 36, who was employed as an information technology specialist at the Oswald D. Heck Developmental Center in the town, admitted Wednesday to using a state credit card intended for travel to purchase everything from prepaid debit cards and groceries to gasoline and meals. As part of his plea in Schenectady County Court, he was sentenced to probation, ordered to repay the money he took and retroactively forced to resign his job, effective in May.

“[Alderson] had the responsibility to make state purchases with state credit cards and nothing more,” state Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said in a statement. “He was entrusted with using the cards honestly, ethically and within the law. He violated that trust and is now being held accountable for his misconduct.”

In April, Alderson admitted to two felony counts of grand larceny and a misdemeanor count of official misconduct. He was earning a salary of about $54,790 as a worker for the state Office of People with Developmental Disabilities since February 2008.

As part of his job, Alderson was tasked with traveling to facilities across the state, which necessitated his use of a travel card. When the unauthorized charges were discovered by his employer, the state inspector general was alerted and a criminal case was filed in November.

Alderson later told investigators from the IG’s office he hadn’t traveled on state business in several years. Alderson made all the purchases in Schenectady County.

“It is vital that no public employee enriches himself using public resources,” said Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney in a news release. “We are glad that we are able to hold Mr. Alderson accountable for his actions and obtain his agreement to resign his job as part of this disposition.”

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