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School custodian uses taxpayer money for home repairs

May 05, 2009
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QUEENS, NY — A 20-year veteran school custodian admitted to using taxpayer money to have custodians work on his home and purchase various supplies and charge them to the city, according to the Daily News.
Gerard O''Brien agreed to pay a $20,000 fine for the thousands of dollars worth of detergent, light bulbs, toilet paper and labor he charged to the New York City Department of Education (DOE), the story stated.
O''Brien said school custodial staff painted his house and installed shelves for him on DOE time; another custodian used a city-owned power washer to clean O''Brien''s deck, also on Department of Education time, the story noted.
O''Brien billed the personal supplies he purchased to John Adams High School in Ozone Park, New York, with false invoices to cover his tracks, the story added.
O''Brien said: “I purchased items with DOE funds for my personal use, such as bug cleaner, weed killer and 60-watt bulbs, which items were not used at John Adams. From 2001 to the present, I submitted 10 to 15 false Best Paint invoices to the DOE.
According to the story, O''Brien resigned in February when he faced "serious disciplinary charges" after the scope of his wrongdoings were realized.
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