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DEC employee accused of stealing gas for personal use

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CANTON — A Star Lake man is being charged with multiple felony charges including 20 counts of falsifying business records for allegedly misusing his status with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to steal gas.

State police on Wednesday charged Cale Nolan, 33, of Star Lake. He faces charges of third-degree grand larceny, 20 counts of first-degree falsifying business records, both class E felonies, and misdemeanor official misconduct.

Nolan, a 12-year maintenance employee with the DEC, is accused of stealing more $1,000 in gasoline and concealing his actions by utilizing several credit cards in numerous locations, according to an investigation by New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott.

Ms. Scott alleges that on at least 20 different occasions between April 2013 and January 2014 Nolan used numerous DEC fuel credit cards taken from DEC vehicles to purchase gasoline for his own personal use at various commercial gas stations in different municipalities throughout St. Lawrence County. The use of a series of credit cards at different locations enabled him to conceal the theft. He was not authorized to make any of the alleged purchases and the cards are only to be used for state owned vehicles and equipment.

“Those who abuse the public’s trust will be investigated and prosecuted for their misconduct. This investigation revealed alleged fraud and theft,” Ms. Scott said. “Particularly egregious was the utilization of several credit cards to avoid detection of criminal conduct.”

State employees are required to enter a vehicle’s odometer reading and a personal identification number when fueling state vehicles at commercial gasoline pumps.

Nolan allegedly entered a false vehicle odometer reading and false PIN at the fuel pump each time in an effort to conceal the thefts from DEC.

St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary E. Rain said she will continue to aggressively prosecute people who abuse their positions for personal gain.

“It is my hope that Mr. Nolan’s arrest and prosecution will have a chilling effect on any governmental official entrusted to protect taxpayer’s interests,” Ms. Rain said.

Nolan was arraigned in Canton Town Court and was released on his own recognizance to reappear on April 23.

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