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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

DiNapoli: Former Mechanics at State Police Garage Charged With Public Corruption and Grand Larceny

Civilian Mechanics Found With Nearly $30,000 in Stolen Auto Parts, Tools and Supplies

May 13, 2021

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and New York State Police Acting Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen announced the arrests of former state police mechanics Jeffrey Rapasadi and David Relyea in the theft of nearly $30,000 in auto parts and supplies from the state. The thefts allegedly took place between April 2015 and October 2020.

“These men were entrusted to maintain and service essential New York State Police vehicles, but instead they allegedly used taxpayer money to fund their own their personal business and repairs,” DiNapoli said. “Thanks to our partnership with the New York State Police and the Madison County District Attorney’s Office, these individuals will now face justice.”

“Our investigation uncovered these illegal actions by our own employees, who used State Police resources for their personal benefit. We will not tolerate illegal activity by our employees — civilian or sworn — and we will hold them accountable for their actions,” said State Police Acting Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen. “We thank the Comptroller and the Madison County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance on this case.”

Rapasadi, 57, and Relyea, 64, both of Canastota, were non-sworn civilian employees responsible for maintaining police vehicles for the Troop D headquarters based in Oneida. They allegedly used a state police paid account to purchase auto parts and tools for their personal use, then falsified invoices to conceal the thefts. When state police searched the defendants’ homes, they recovered more than $24,000 worth of state funded auto supplies, tools and parts at Rapasadi’s home and more than $4,800 worth of police property at Relyea’s home.

During the investigation, a forensic analysis of thousands of invoices from the state police auto supply company determined that between April 2015 and October 2020, numerous auto parts were purchased that did not fit police vehicles, including parts for Mercedes-Benz vehicles, which the state police do not own. In addition, invoice descriptions were altered and did not match the actual parts purchased.

Relyea, who owns an auto repair business on the side, allegedly used the parts he stole from the police garage to subsidize his personal business. Investigators found invoices worth $4,173 for parts that did not fit on police vehicles with his name on them. Rasapadi’s name appeared on invoices for $1,342 in parts that also did not fit on police vehicles.

Relyea and Rapasadi are also each being charged with criminal possession of stolen property.

Rapasadi is charged with 28 felony counts including corrupting the government, grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. Relyea is charged with eight felony and three misdemeanor charges including corrupting the government, grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property and official misconduct. Rapasadi is also charged with falsifying his time and attendance records which resulted in him receiving more than $7,000 in unearned leave credits. Both Rapasadi and Relyea retired during the investigation and were not employed with the state police at the time of their arrests. Relyea retired from state service on Oct. 31, 2020, and Rapasadi retired on Nov. 12, 2020. They were both employed by the state police for at least 30 years.

They were arraigned today in Oneida Court and released on their own recognizance. They are due back in court on June 18.

The arrest was a result of a joint investigation between the State Comptroller’s Office, the New York State Police and Madison County District Attorney William Gabor.

Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has committed to fighting public corruption and encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse. New Yorkers can report allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555, by filing a complaint online at [email protected], or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.