Former New Rochelle DPW Fleet Manager Richard Fevang plead guilty this morning in a Westchester County courtroom to the top count of tampering with public records. Fevang was charged in June with 66 counts of fraud.
“We are seeking jail time,” said Lucian Chalfen, spokesman for the Westchester County District Attorney’s office.
Fevang appeared before Judge Albert Lorenzo to enter his guilty plea. He is scheduled to be sentenced sometime in January, 2012.
The guilty plea ends a decade-long series of investigations into fraud by Fevang, first reported to the DA’s office in 2001 by DPW mechanic Pat Papallardi and other municipal workers.
The recent investigation began after allegations against Fevang were first published on Talk of the Sound in 2009. New Rochelle City Council Member Louis Trangucci played a critical role in advancing the investigation when he delivered boxes of DPW invoices to Assistant District Attorney Brian Conway Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Bureaus in early 2010.
“I am pleased to know that Mr. Fevang is no longer working for the City and will pay for his crimes against the people of New Rochelle”, said Council Member Louis Trangucci. “Now we can move forward on a more positive basis for the Department of Public Works.”
Trangucci singled put Papallardi for praise.
“I want to extend my sincere appreciation for Pat Papallardi who took to the initiative to come forward with information that led to the 66-Count indictment against Fevang,” said Trangucci. “Pat is an example of how one person can make a difference. I would hope his brave actions will inspire others to come forward knowing it is possible to have a positive outcome in a case like this.
The Westchester County District Attorney is expected to issue a statement shortly.
Messages left for City Manager Charles B. Strome and City spokesperson Kathy Gilwit were not returned.
Conway and Assistant District Attorney Shara Abraham of the Investigations Division worked with Conway in prosecuting the case.