New York, NY - April 17, 2018 - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the conviction of Rome City School Board Member Timothy Safin for falsifying timesheets in order to collect pay for work he had not done. Today, as part of his guilty plea, Safin resigned from his position on the Rome City School Board and paid full restitution to the Gaming Commission; earlier this year, Safin resigned from the Gaming Commission.
In 2015, Safin was elected to the Rome City School Board, where he chaired the Board’s Personnel Committee and served as the Board Clerk. In a separate capacity, Safin worked for the New York State Gaming Commission as a Supervising Gaming Operations Inspector for Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY and Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango, NY. According to the plea agreement signed by Safin and statements made in court today, Safin admitted that on at least 19 occasions between November 2015 and March 2017, he submitted false timesheets to the Gaming Commission representing that he was working in his capacity as a Gaming Commission Supervisor, when he was actually attending and participating in Rome City School Board meetings and affairs. Relying on Safin’s false timesheets, the Gaming Commission paid Safin $1,957.51 in salary that he did not earn.
“Public servants who abuse their power for monetary gain undermine the public’s confidence in government,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “No one is above the law and my office will continue to ensure that those who betray public trust are held accountable.”
Following a referral from the New York State Office of the Gaming Inspector General, the Attorney General’s office reviewed Safin’s timesheets and compared them to the school board meeting minutes, which are public record. The investigation revealed Safin attended and participated in school board meetings but submitted timesheets to the Gaming Commission indicating he was working in his Gaming Commission capacity on several instances when he was not.
Today, Safin pleaded guilty before the Honorable Nelson T. Dodge in Verona Town Court to one count of Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree. In accordance with his guilty plea, Safin paid full restitution totaling $1,957.51 to the New York State Gaming Commission. Further, as required by the plea agreement, Safin resigned from his position on the Rome City School Board. He resigned from the Gaming Commission in a separate proceeding on February 1, 2018. Safin was also sentenced by Judge Dodge to a one year conditional discharge.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Mary Gorman of the Public Integrity Bureau, under the supervision of Public Integrity Bureau Chief Daniel Cort, Deputy Bureau Chief Stacy Aronowitz, and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Margaret Garnett.
The investigation was conducted by the New York State Office of the Gaming Inspector General and Investigator David Buske of the OAG Investigations Bureau. The Investigations Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Dominick Zarrella and Deputy Bureau Chief Antoine Karam.