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New York Prison Guard Stole Disability Payments According To District Attorney


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11/17/2008
Brent Adams
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A corrections officer from Nassau County, New York has been arrested on charges of attempting to steal over $7,000 in disability payments by providing corrections officials at the Nassau jail with forged doctor’s notes. The arrest stems from an investigation conducted by The Medical Investigations Unit of the Sheriff’s Department of Nassau County, the County Attorney’s Office, and the District Attorney.

Forty-year-old St. James, New York resident Mark Ridge was arrested on charges of third degree attempted grand larceny and first degree offering a false instrument for filing. If convicted, he faces a prison sentence of up to four years.

Ridge suffered an injury to his back during an altercation with an inmate at the Nassau County Jail on October 14, 2004. The injury was not severe enough that Ridge would need to go on a restricted or light-duty workload, but he was able to claim it as 207c, which allows absence from work with no loss of sick time. However, for any day an employee claims 207c, a doctor’s note must be provided, according to Nassau district attorney Kathleen Rice.

Investigators say that often, Ridge would work four hours of overtime before beginning his shift and then leave after completing only half of his shift and claim 207c. This allowed him to work an entire shift, but receive overtime for half of it, leave early, and still have his half day of sick time.

Later, Ridge complained to human resources that they were not processing his 207c time quickly enough and presented a doctor’s note to cover 34 claimed days. After being told this was insufficient, he returned the next day with 22 notes from his chiropractor. Later, his chiropractor admitted to signing off on the dates Ridge had provided him.

According to Rice, investigators from the County Attorney’s Office began to monitor Ridge’s 207c claims, discovering that he allegedly falsely claimed to have been to see his doctor on January 3, 2007. Between the period of January 6, 2007 and September 26, 2007, he claimed 12 half days and 19 whole days of 207c time for a total attempted larceny of $7,124.89.



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