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Retired Dispatcher Sentenced for Stealing $196K from Glen Cove Fire Department

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced that a retired dispatcher for the Glen Cove Fire Department has been sentenced to one to three years in jail for stealing more than $196,000 over a six-year period from the department’s general fund, which he controlled for 20 years, by writing himself hundreds of checks and forging the department’s treasurer’s signature on more than 100 of them.

George William Gray, 68, of Hendersonville, N.C. had pled guilty to the top count of Larceny in the Second Degree. He was sentenced last week before Judge Jerald Carter to one to three years in jail and was also ordered to pay restitution through a civil judgment order.

Rice said that Gray, who retired in March 2009 after working for the City of Glen Cove for 34 years as a fire dispatcher, served as a volunteer firefighter for the City of Glen Cove Fire Department for 44 years. For approximately 20 of those years, Gray was the chairman of the department’s fund drive, whose sole source of funds was volunteer donors. The funds were maintained in an account supervised by Gray and intended for distribution to the department and the four volunteer fire companies that make up the department.

Rice said that between May 10, 2003 and March 6, 2009, Gray wrote approximately 300 checks payable to cash, to himself, and to his personal credit card accounts, including checks to pay for model railroad equipment, gourmet cigars and gambling debts. On more than 100 of the checks, Gray forged the signature of the department’s treasurer. The thefts were discovered by the department after Gray’s retirement, and referred to the DA’s Office by Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi.

Gray was arrested by DA Investigators on September 28, 2010.

“The years of deceiving and stealing from the Glen Cove Fire Department caught up with this defendant and he will now pay the price,” Rice said. “Mr. Gray not only preyed on the generosity of Glen Cove residents who donated to the fire department, but he betrayed the trust of his colleagues.”

 Assistant District Attorney William Jorgenson of the Public Corruption Bureau is handling the case for the DA’s Office. Gray is represented by Peter Bongiorno, Esq.