Investigation reports $500k fraud by former state prisons worker, Paladino un-invited by local Republicans, paper streets at issue in Cohoes

The state comptroller and inspector general report that a former Division of Corrections director engaged in fraud that cost taxpayers $500,000. They say an investigation concluded that the man, who headed up a food production center in Oneida County, didn't work Fridays for 17 years and submitted fraudulent travel vouchers and hotel invoices. They say the audit also revealed that supervisors "looked the other way." The Oneida County DA is now reviewing whether criminal charges should be filed. [NYS OSC] [NYS OSC] [YNN]

The Paterson administration is reportedly preparing early retirement incentives for state workers. Yesterday CSEA filed a formal contract grievance over the withheld four percent raises for state workers. [TU] [WTEN]

David Paterson's office says an operator for the planned Aqueduct racino will be selected by the time the Saratoga track opens for the season. A group of Republican state legislators -- including Roy McDonald and Tony Jordan -- are pushing for an outside accounting firm to vet bids for the racino. They say the plan would open up the process to the public and more bidders. McDonald called the selection process so far "embarrassing." [Saratogian] [TU] [Fox23] [YNN]

Local Republican leaders un-invited Carl Paladino to a forum scheduled in Colonie on Friday. A Tea Party organizer said at yesterday's rally that Paladino is "incompatible with anything we stand for." And a bomb threat was reportedly called in to Paladino's headquarters in Buffalo. A Paladino spokesman said the developer is continuing his gubernatorial campaign. [TU CapCon] [AOA] [Buffalo News] [YNN]

Schenectady police say the man found dead in a house on Wendell Ave is a victim of homicide. It's the city's fourth of the year. [YNN] [TU]

The request to delay sentencing in the Joe Bruno case has been denied. [Troy Record]

The Albany County sheriff's department says a St. Peter's employee used stolen patient info to open credit cards. The sheriff's office says the scheme was found out when books the man allegedly ordered were shipped to the home of a patient. St. Peter's says it has fired the man. [TU] [YNN] [Fox23]

The Albany school district's proposed budget would increase the tax levy by 3.87 percent -- and administrators will forgo scheduled raises. [TU] [WNYT]

The Shen school district's proposed budget would cut 26.5 teaching jobs and raise taxes by a little more than three percent. [Fox23] [TU]

The Saratoga Springs school district's proposed budget would increase the tax levy 2.5 percent. [Saratogian]

The proposed cut of extracurricular activities -- including sports -- in the Troy school district is apparently now off the table. The district says it will also delay the closure of one of its elementary schools for one year. [WTEN] [Fox23]

Scandal is apparently good at turning out school board candidates in Schenectady. [TU]

The Saratoga County sheriff's office reports that the wife of a Schenectady police assistant chief was arrested for cocaine possession last week. Saratoga County DA James Murphy says Brian Kilcullen turned his wife in. The DA said they're working to get the woman into a substance abuse program. The sheriff's office says the investigation didn't indicate any wrongdoing by the assistant chief. [CBS6] [WTEN] [TU] [YNN]

Former Schenectady cop John Lewis is appealing his termination. [TU]

The City of Troy says it's stepping up code enforcement efforts in some neighborhoods. [Troy Record]

The Rensselaer County legislature approved a measure that would allow someone to serve on both the county legislature and a town board. [Troy Record]

"Paper streets" are at the middle of allegations over a land deal in Cohoes. [Troy Record]

A 10-year-old from Troy will compete in the world finals of the Odyssey of the Mind. [Troy Record]

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