MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon Police Officer Joseph Russo pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to 37 felony and misdemeanor counts in connection with charges he claimed overtime that he hadn’t earned.
Russo, 47, was accused of submitting overtime reports and Westchester County Traffic Board STEP forms to the Mount Vernon Police Department claiming he worked two hours of overtime on seven occasions in August and September 2012.
Russo netted approximately $500 in overtime pay.
Russo was arrested in February following an investigation by the Mount Vernon Police Department Internal Affairs Unit. He was charged with two counts of falsifying business records.
The indictment handed up last week added several counts to the charge, including a felony charge of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. Misdemeanor charges against him include petty larceny and second-degree offering a false instrument.
The 15-year veteran of the Police Department was suspended without pay. In April, he sued to get the pay back, claiming the police commissioner lacked the authority for such measures. Last week, state Supreme Court Justice Lester Adler ruled that the pay could only be held for 30 days. He will be paid retroactively back to March 15.
Russo is due back in court on Sept. 24.
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