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DEC employee accused of stealing gas in St. Lawrence County

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CANTON — A Star Lake man faces multiple felony charges for allegedly misusing his status with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to steal gas.

State police on Wednesday charged Cale Nolan, 33, with third-degree grand larceny, 20 counts of first-degree falsifying business records, both felonies, and misdemeanor official misconduct.

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

The state alleges that on at least 20 occasions from April 2013 to January, Mr. Nolan used numerous DEC fuel credit cards taken from DEC vehicles to purchase gasoline for his personal use at gas stations throughout St. Lawrence County. He was not authorized to make any of the purchases, as the cards are to be used only 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 stated in a news release. “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.

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

St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary E. Rain said she will 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 taxpayers’ interests,” Ms. Rain said.

Mr. Nolan was arraigned in Town Court and was released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to reappear in court on April 23.

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