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


DiNapoli: Former Mechanic at State Police Garage Pleads Guilty to Felony

Civilian Mechanic Found With More Than $24K in Stolen Auto Parts, Tools and Supplies

September 16, 2021

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Madison County District Attorney William Gabor, and New York State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen today announced that former state police mechanic David Relyea has pleaded guilty to felony corrupting the government for the theft of more than $24,000 in auto parts and supplies from the state. The thefts took place between April 2015 and October 2020.

"Mr. Relyea’s theft of state resources was a betrayal of the trust placed in him as an employee of the state police," DiNapoli said. “With this conviction, I thank Madison County District Attorney William Gabor and the New York State Police for their continued partnership in fighting corruption and protecting taxpayer dollars.”

“The Madison County D.A.’s Office prosecutes all crimes, but we look very closely at crimes committed by public employees,” said D.A. Gabor. “Cases like this are especially important because Mr. Relyea was an employee of the New York State Police. While not a police officer on the road, Mr. Relyea was a member of the law enforcement community and has been held accountable for his actions.”

“This is an egregious case of employees illegally using State Police property for their personal benefit,” said Bruen. “I want to thank the Comptroller’s Office and the Madison County District Attorney’s Office for their work in securing this conviction.”

Relyea, 64, of Canastota was a non-sworn civilian employee responsible for maintaining police vehicles for the Troop D headquarters based in Oneida. In May, Relyea and another non-sworn civilian employee, Jeffrey Rapasadi, 57, also of Canastota were both charged with the thefts.

State police said they recovered more than $24,000 of police property at Relyea’s home and more than $4,800 worth of state funded auto supplies, tools and parts at Rapasadi’s home.

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.

Relyea was charged with eight felony and three misdemeanor charges including corrupting the government, grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property and official misconduct. He pleaded guilty to felony corrupting the government in the third degree and was sentenced to interim felony probation. As part of his plea, Relyea has already paid back $20,000.

Both Relyea and Rapasadi retired during the investigation and were not employed with the state police at the time of their arrests. Relyea retired from state service on October 31, 2020 and Rapasadi retired on November 12, 2020. They were both employed by the state police for at least 30 years.

Relyea appeared before Judge Patrick J. O’Sullivan in Madison County Court. He is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 2.

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.