Claims of improperly drawing unemployment benefits
By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong
Former Philipstown Supervisor William “Bill” Mazzuca reportedly faces felony charges of improperly claiming nearly $17,000 in unemployment benefits while still working as supervisor in 2009. The account of his arrest — which apparently occurred in January, but was not revealed until now — appeared on The Journal News website late Thursday, March 14.
The Putnam County District Attorney’s Office, which reportedly arrested Mazzuca, could provide no details on the allegations on Friday morning. A spokeswoman said that “Henry Lopez is taking all the calls on the case.” She added that Lopez, a criminal investigator, was not working on Friday and would not be available until the week of March 18. Asked if the fact that she referred to “the case” meant that there are indeed proceedings pending against Mazzuca, the spokeswoman said she could not confirm anything. The district attorney’s online file of recent news releases on criminal justice activity did not include anything on Mazzuca.
The Cold Spring Justice Court, the anticipated judicial venue for the case, was closed from March 11-15, access to any information it might have. Its next criminal justice court session is scheduled for April 10.
A message left on Mazzuca’s home phone Friday morning seeking his reaction to the allegations did not produce an immediate return phone call.
According to The Journal News, Mazzuca is accused of getting $16,820 in unemployment compensation from late March 2009 until the end of that year, although he continued in his $25,000-a-year job as supervisor. After serving as the town’s chief executive for 16 years, he retired to acclaim and a standing ovation at his last Town Board meeting, Dec. 30, 2009. He was succeeded by Richard Shea, the current supervisor.
The Journal News reported that in spring 2009, Mazzuca was drawing $115,513 a year in a pension after retiring in 2005 from his position as the superintendent of the Taconic Correctional Facility, a New York state prison in Fishkill and still working as the Philipstown supervisor. While retired from the state prison system job he also for a time held a $90,615 post as a security liaison in the New York Power Authority, a state agency, and a $120,000-a-year position as a deputy corrections commissioner in Westchester County.