Home Buffalo Press Releases 2009 Former Monroe County Employee Pleads Guilty to Public Corruption Charges

Former Monroe County Employee Pleads Guilty to Public Corruption Charges

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 22, 2009
  • Western District of New York (716) 843-5700

ROCHESTER, NY—United States Attorney Kathleen M. Mehltretter announced that Robert Morone, age 53, of 102 Queensland Drive, Gates, New York, a former employee with the County of Monroe, New York, pled guilty in front of District Court Judge David G. Larimer to defrauding Monroe County by depriving the county of his honest services as an employee. The charge carries a maximum possible sentence of 20 years imprisonment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard A. Resnick, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant was employed by Monroe County as a supervisor with the title "Superintendent of Maintenance and Construction.” He was assigned to Monroe County’s Department of Environmental Services (“DES”). His duties as supervisor included being in charge of Monroe County’s building maintenance projects. His was an appointed position.

Robutrad Corporation was a corporation set-up to employ union members for the purpose of providing skilled labor to Monroe County, including carpenters, plumbers, painters, electricians, and laborers. The defendant was the Monroe County employee who oversaw the Robutrad workers who were assigned to the DES at the maintenance and construction unit. The defendant was in charge of providing the Robutrad workers with Monroe County work assignments and supervising their daily activities while working for Monroe County, and assuring time records are accurately provided. The defendant also had authority to order materials which would be used by the maintenance and construction unit.

From at least 2005 to November 2008, the defendant executed a scheme to defraud Monroe County of property and his honest services by causing Monroe County to pay the Robutrad workers for days and hours for which such workers never actually performed services for Monroe County. The defendant executed this scheme by falsifying the workers’ time records which falsely represented that the workers had worked on specific Monroe County projects when in fact they had not.

The defendant caused Monroe County to pay the workers routinely for days or hours that the workers worked on non-county projects or being paid for days off. The non-county projects for which the workers were paid included working on private individuals’ properties, including the defendant’s families’ properties, doing errands for the defendant, and providing services to the Monroe County Republican Party. Further, the defendant on many occasions reimbursed the workers with Monroe County funds for the political donations made by the workers to the Monroe County Republican Party. The defendant on many occasions had the Robutrad workers pay him a portion of the illegal funds the Robutrad workers received from Monroe County.

The parties agreed in the plea agreement that the loss to Monroe County was between $400,000 and $1,000,000. The plea agreement also provides that the defendant has agreed to cooperative with the federal and state governments in any ongoing investigations.

The plea was the culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of James H. Robertson, Special Agent in Charge, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, under the direction of Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn, and the Monroe County District Attorney's Office, specifically, Assistant District Attorney William T. Gargan.

A sentencing status conference is scheduled for May 13, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. in front of District Court Judge Larimer.