Community service required
By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong
Former Philipstown Supervisor Bill Mazzuca pleaded guilty in Cold Spring Justice Court Wednesday, May 8, to charges of insurance fraud and received a one-year conditional discharge.
As part of the agreement terminating immediate legal action, he agreed to perform 40 hours of community service conducted through the Putnam County alternatives to incarceration program. Under a stipulation announced by Judge Thomas Costello, Mazzuca cannot provide the community service for any department or agency of the Town of Philipstown. Mazzuca serves on the town Recreation Commission.
Mazzuca withdrew a former plea of not guilty as part of the settlement, drawn up with the cooperation of the Putnam County District Attorney’s Office. He had previously faced more serious charges, including one of grand larceny.
In January, following an investigation, Mazzuca was accused of fraudulently claiming $16,820 in unemployment compensation in 2009 while working as Philipstown supervisor for an annual salary of $25,000. Mazzuca left office at the end of 2009, after not seeking re-election.
“He received benefits” for which he was ineligible, Mazzuca’s attorney, William Burke, said after the brief courtroom action. “That’s what he pled guilty to.” Both Burke and Mazzuca refused to comment further.
In the courtroom, Costello reminded Mazzuca that the discharge is temporary, conditioned upon Mazzuca’s fulfillment of the agreement. He observed that Mazzuca had already met one requirement by repaying the $16,820.
The false claims submission occurred three to four years after Mazzuca retired from being superintendent of the Taconic Correctional Facility in Fishkill, with a $115,513 pension. After leaving his state prison system post, he temporarily held a $90,615 job as a security liaison in the New York Power Authority, another state agency, and worked as a deputy corrections commissioner in Westchester County for $120,000 annually.