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State employee caught double-billing

A state employee was working for the Taxation and Finance Department and as officer-in-charge of the Ellicottville Police Department and billing both for some of the same hours and using his state car in police work.

Revenue Officer Larry Graham worked out of the Buffalo office but spent his time in the Southern Tier where his office told Inspector General's investigators they could always reach him.

His office didn't know he had been an Ellicottville police officer for 20 years without permission. He had never asked for permission and his supervisors didn't know they were supposed to be monitoring him.

After requesting permission and being turned down, a new report says Graham kept working in Ellicottville.

Acting Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott says her investigators had him under surveillance and watched as he billed Albany and Ellicottville for the same hours.

He left both agencies, apparently after learning in 2009 there was a probe.

"Those are very difficult situations," Leahy Scott said. 

"We have been looking at and investigating and reviewing the policies and procedures of agencies that have these types of employees and how they need to be looking at those policies, strengthening those policies and looking at their employees to ensure that we as taxpayers get the most bang for our buck."

There is a special prosecutor probing Graham's double-billing and a request to the State Comptroller's Office to take the double-billing out of his pension.

You can read the full report from the NYS Department Office of the State Inspector General on-line.


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.