DiNapoli: former mechanic in state police garage pleads guilty to felony
State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Madison County District Attorney William Gabor, and New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen today announced that the former mechanic State Police Officer, David Relyea, pleaded guilty to government bribery for the theft of more than $ 24,000 in state car parts and supplies. The flights took place between April 2015 and October 2020.
“Mr. Relyea’s theft of state resources was a betrayal of the trust placed in him as an employee of the state police,” said DiNapoli. “With this conviction, I thank Madison County Attorney William Gabor and the New York State Police for their continued partnership in fighting corruption and protecting taxpayer dollars. “
“The Madison County District Attorney’s Office prosecutes all crimes, but we are looking very closely at crimes committed by officials,” DA Gabor said. “Cases like this are particularly important because Mr. Relyea was an employee of the New York State Police. Although not a police officer on the road, Mr. Relyea was a member of the law enforcement community and was held accountable for his actions.
“This is a blatant case of employees illegally using state police property for their personal benefit,” Bruen said. “I want to thank the Comptroller’s Office and the Madison County District Attorney’s Office for their work in securing this conviction.”
Relyea, 64, from Canastota was an unsworn civilian employee responsible for maintaining police vehicles for D Troop headquarters based in Oneida. In May, Relyea and another unsworn civilian employee, Jeffrey Rapasadi, 57, also from Canastota, were both charged with theft.
State police said they recovered more than $ 24,000 in police property from Relyea’s home and over $ 4,800 in state-funded supplies, tools and auto parts from Rapasadi’s home.
Relyea, who owns an auto repair business next door, is said to have used the parts he stole from the police garage to subsidize his personal business.
Relyea has been charged with eight felonies and three misdemeanors, including government corruption, robbery and criminal possession of stolen property and official misconduct. He pleaded guilty to the crime of third degree government corruption and was sentenced to provisional probation for the felony. As part of her plea, Relyea has already reimbursed $ 20,000.
Relyea and Rapasadi both retired during the investigation and were not employed by state police at the time of their arrests. Relyea retired from public service on October 31, 2020 and Rapasadi retired on November 12, 2020. They have both been employed by the state police for at least 30 years.
Relyea appeared before Judge Patrick J. O’Sullivan in Madison County Court. He is to be sentenced on December 2.
The arrest was the result of a joint investigation between the State Comptroller’s Office, New York State Police and Madison County District Attorney William Gabor.
Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has been committed to fighting public corruption and encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse. New Yorkers can report allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money by calling the toll-free helpline at 1-888-672-4555, filing a complaint online at [email protected], or by submitting a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.