Inspector General Finds Vet Counselor Worked Second Job on State Time

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ALBANY, NY (11/24/2010)(readMedia)-- Inspector General Joseph Fisch determined that Gerald Ladouceur, a former Senior Veterans' Counselor for the state Division of Veterans' Affairs, amassed nearly $23,000 in improper outside income by working extra jobs on state time. Ladouceur, who was assigned to the Albany Stratton Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albany, falsified time sheets and took improper military leave to bring in the cash from 2004 to 2010, according to the report.

The investigation determined that Ladouceur, 56, of Slingerlands, charged the federal government for contract work which he conducted during his state workday. Specifically, after arriving at his state job at the Stratton Medical Center, where he helped veterans navigate benefit programs, Ladouceur would spend several hours fulfilling his federal contract as a chaplain for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, also at the Stratton Medical Center. The chaplain's log and state records showed that Ladouceur was paid by both agencies for 171 hours of simultaneous work, which cost the state $5,147.

In addition, Ladouceur took state-paid military leave to ostensibly serve with the state Naval Militia but instead engaged in his second, federal job at Stratton Medical Center. During this time, he was paid $15,958 by the state. Ladouceur never obtained proper agency permission to do outside work, according to the report. Ladouceur also frequently arrived late or left early from his state job, which cost the state $1,757, the report states.

Ladouceur, an 11-year state employee, retired from his $73,095-a-year job in August during the Inspector General's investigation. Because he is no longer a state employee, he cannot be disciplined by the state Division of Veterans' Affairs. Inspector General Fisch forwarded his report to the New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for consideration of criminal charges. He also forwarded his findings to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Naval Militia, and the U.S. Navy Inspector General for review.

As a result of the investigation, the Division of Military and Naval Affairs strengthened its controls over the issuance of orders to Naval Militia members.