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State Police investigation finds no criminal conduct in Corfu STOP-DWI funding

A State Police investigation into the alleged misappropriation of STOP-DWI funds in Corfu has concluded there was no criminal wrongdoing in the case.

Allegations of malfeasance have been percolating in Corfu for months after Village Trustee Ralph Peterson first started looking into rumors that part-time police officers were being required to sign falsified time cards.

Investigator Ken Dubrinski concluded that there is no evidence any officers signed time cards that had notations on them claiming they were on DWI patrol when they were not.

STOP-DWI is a county program which uses funds from DWI fines to help pay for extra patrols by local law enforcement agencies -- either to operate DWI checkpoints or put DWI-specific patrols on the road.

Typically, the Village of Corfu Police Department has only one officer at a time on the road and that officer is engaged in general patrol duties. The only time two officers are on duty is during Darien Lake concerts, and one of those officers operates the intersection stop light at routes 33 and 77.

Even so, the village has been filing paperwork for STOP-DWI funding since at least 2009.

Dubrinski concluded that in the absence of falsified time cards, the filing of the STOP-DWI vouchers by the village clerk was the result of village officials misunderstanding how the program worked.

According to the investigator's report, obtained recently by The Batavian, the case started when Justice Robert Alexander (separately, a possible subject of an investigation into missing court funds) contacted Peterson and said that village police complained to him that they were being asked to sign time cards saying they were on DWI patrol when they were not.

Perterson told Dubrinski that he obtained copies of the program vouchers and interviewed police officers. He reportedly told Dubrinski that 39 out of 39 times, officers were reported to have worked DWI patrol but had only worked routine patrol.

Once officer told Dubrinski that he believed that the village was turning in STOP-DWI vouchers for any shift that resulted in a DWI arrest.

The officers interviewed by Dubrinski -- all seven or eight in the department are part-time -- said that as far back as a year ago, officers were asked to start signing time cards following a state audit. All said they had never been asked to sign a time card with additional notations on them.

Paul Witkowski
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Joined: Jan 24 2012

Well, I guess question would be: Why would an officer admit to wrong doing and posssibly face criminal charges and/or disciplinary action?

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