According to the complaint (see below), Rogers, as vice president and treasurer of the now defunct Sheriff’s Employees Association of Rensselaer County, spent more than $3,000 of the union’s money on strip clubs, restaurants and ring-side seats for boxing matches. Mark Piche, now a former CO, was president of the union. In 2013, he pleaded guilty to paying workers off the books at his family’s restaurant, the Red Front, which equates to tax evasion and resigned his position at the jail.
Now that formal criminal charges are filed, Rogers, who was making his $75,000-plus salary since 2011 when he was suspended by Sheriff Jack Mahar, is now off the payroll for 30 days. He will then return to the payroll while the criminal case winds its way through the court system.
At that time, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, through the FBI, began an investigation but issued an unprecedented letter to Rogers in December, 2014 exonerating him of all criminality. But, the letter did indicate any and all information was passed on to the AG’s office.
“Those who hold positions of trust must be held to the highest standards of professional conduct,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “We take allegations of misuse of funds contributed by dues-paying union members very seriously. Cases like this represent a betrayal of both the union’s members and its mission.”
According to the complaint – charging Rogers with four felonies including two counts of grand larceny and two counts related to forging a union check – there are three witnesses. Witness 1 told Witness 2 that he saw Rogers use the union debit card at a strip club. Witness 2 told authorities he reviewed the books and saw that Rogers did use the debit card to pay for personnel expenses unrelated to union activity.
The third witness told authorities that Pugnacious Promotions, a company that promotes local boxers and boxing matches, sponsored an event in July, 2010 and on Feb. 3, 2011. For the first, Witness 2 told authorities Rogers cut a union check for $1,200, the price of a ring-side seat. For the second, he was given a union check for $400 but altered it to $600, again the price of a ring-side seat. The complaint states other union members did not know about the expenditure and were not given the opportunity to see the fight.
Rogers, I’m told by reliable sources, turned down a plea deal offered by the feds and I’m told now he won’t accept a plea deal now – should one be offered. But, the feds didn’t formally charge him so he might feel the pressure more to plea out and avoid jail time.
But, if the case does go to trial, it could be a year or two out and Rogers will be back on the payroll after 30 days so that could be an incentive for him to drag his feet too.
Rogers also filed a civil suit against Mahar and Rensselaer County accusing the sheriff and staffers of improperly accessing his medical records. That is still pending.
As far as the witnesses go, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who they are.
Witness 1, I’m willing to bet, is Piche. He was under the federal eye along with Rogers but pled to tax evasion and got a slap on the wrist. It’s long been known that part of that plea was to testify against Rogers. The two were president and vice president and were hang out buddies – and were known to hit the strip clubs and restaurants.
Witness 2, has to be Christopher Fumarola since he was never under any suspicion and had access to the union’s books. So did the authorities, I suppose, but they need someone to tell them – and any potential jury – what the numbers actually mean.
The third is obviously someone involved with Pugnacious Promotions.
The bottom line is did Rogers, who was duly elected by the union membership, have the authority to spend union money as he saw fit? And, even if he did have that authority, did he overstep that responsibility and use union funds for his personnel benefit.
I guess that’s what jury trials are for.
Whatever the answer or the outcome, I hope someone does something to stop paying him for sitting home.
You're nuts Franco! You really think it's a possibility that Rogers will plead to this? Have you learned anything about him from your so called " sources "?ReplyDelete
Look at the mugshot for your answer.
You should have talked to a good criminal defense attorney and asked them to analyze the complaint. That way you could have been informed of how weak it is.
Don't get me wrong, these clowns will ask Rogers to drop his lawsuits in exchange for dropping the charges at some point.
Print it out, wipe your azz with it.
So let me get this straight. Rogers has been out of work for four plus years at about $75,000 a year and now has been arrested for 3 felonies and is suspended for 30 days in which at the end of the 30 day suspension will be back on the pay and Pat Russo has no comment. Ok taxpayers maybe we should have a comment. Russo you are fired.ReplyDelete
Perhaps he cannot comment because it is an ongoing investigation and lawsuit?Delete
Unlike some other agencies , officers at the jail don't go back on the payroll after 30 days . They remain suspended without pay .ReplyDelete
Piche pled to a felony for paying a couple dishwashers under the table. Also paid a fine of $25,000.00. Go into any restaurants kitchen and see how many employees get paid off the books. It's a joke. I'm not sure it should be called a "slap on the wrist" Franco after paying back 25k, resigning from a job you've held for over 20yrs and now having a felony record.ReplyDelete
This is about the Red Front not about any other restaurant.Delete
Sounds like a 2 year old wrote this. C'mon Jim you can do better than this.ReplyDelete
And in the final act of this awfull story of the dirty sheriff department scumbags Rodger gets thrown in RCJ falls in love with the Shawscank broad they live happily ever after on love and gift certificates bought with union credit card to the Red Front Resteraunt. Like father like son.ReplyDelete
Un-f-king believable. I ran out of unemployment benefits after 9 months and it was my lifeline. After 20 years with my employer, I got $300 dole. $75 grand, more than I've made in three consecutive years ever. Good for him getting a slap for 30 days and continuing collecting his pay check after his punishment. Some things in Troy never change.Delete
well well this is just the beginning of bringing down the house... I guess pat the undersheriff should be starting to feel some pressure ... the good ol boys at the jail are now getting theirs!ReplyDelete
About time they got theirs. All no good.Delete
Never knew piche was a reader until he commented aboveReplyDelete
I am just getting warmed up.ReplyDelete
I recently crossed paths with a retired rensselaer county deputy sheriff.
He was vary adamant about the fact that the sheriff's dept was totally corrupt and was being used as a political weapon during election cycles.
What we have here as tax payers is a group of malcontents whose corrosive exploits will put innocent good people in jeopardy and keep the bad apples.
Albany county is not much better and probably worse so no matter what side of the river you dwell you pretty much screwed.
All this goes on while the dummy sits on the beach in Carolina sucking down Mai tais, eating coffee cakes and watching his wife troll for twenty year olds.ReplyDelete
Can't use "dummy" in all social media comments. Lol Gary GordonDelete
Pat Russo has got to go.ReplyDelete
Bigger story is our DA Joel is in hot water again. This time Crist had him do something outside of his authority. An angry EGPD have gone to the state.ReplyDelete
Gary, tell us more!Delete
Gordon made a fool out of himself when he ran for sherriff. Can't put no more frosting on the cake, what a complete idiot. I voted for him too. Wish him the best.Delete
It took long enough for them to finally charge this scumbag. I am a little surprised they didn't charge him when they got that other scumbag Piche.Looks like the Troy boys are going down one by one. A very good thing.ReplyDelete
This is old news buddy!Delete
Georgeadis, Leonard and Kiley are in way over their heads. This is an acquittal all day long. Gaspar Castillo is foaming at the mouthReplyDelete
Repo man will be looking for that nice new Harley :)ReplyDelete
Soon the creditors will go after his house. NOT THE 1st TIME. No money budget in Rogers vocabulary. Been beating the system for years. Don't take a bet from him. He will stiff you. Stole $ from his own jail brothers. The list goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on on on on on & on.Delete
Its election time. Have to protect the undersheriff. This guy has been being paid for.four years! Now while election petitoons are being passed he gets arrested. Sounds like the administration didn't want to answer the question as to why he received salary and bemefits for four years without working. Now they will leqn on the fct that he's suspended! The four year investigation should not have focused on the vice president of the union, it should have been on the elexted administration of the department!ReplyDelete
You're either 'on the team' or you're no use to sheriff mahar.ReplyDelete
The Rensselaer County Sheriffs deputies union president/VP embezzled(stole) union funds & Mahar decided the perpetrators could pay back the money.
No discipline. No FBI probe. Nothing.
All depends on who u know/who u bloe
Russo is like Obama. He does what he wants and you can not touch him.ReplyDelete
Jack Rogers for RC Sherriff 2016.ReplyDelete
How many more law suits do we have to settle before we the voters wake up.ReplyDelete
$500,000 settlement coming. Way to go taxpayers. keep on voting for these guys.ReplyDelete