Accused fire commissioner denies thefts

New Hyde Park Fire Department fire Commissioner Michael New Hyde Park Fire Department fire Commissioner Michael Dolan, 68, and his son, firefighter Michael J. Dolan, 32, have been charged with grand larceny in connection with the theft of dozens of smoke detectors, officials said. (July 16, 2012) Photo Credit: NCPD

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New Hyde Park fire Commissioner Michael Dolan told police that the 65 smoke detectors he and his son are accused of stealing from the district's offices belonged to him, court documents show.

However, a summary of the statement Dolan gave Nassau police investigators on June 28 -- a week after he and his son, Michael J. Dolan, allegedly took the smoke detectors -- did not say why he thought he owned the smoke detectors.

Joseph Frank, a fire district attorney, said Wednesday that the Kidde brand smoke detectors, which were to be given to senior citizens, belong to the district. "If there is a difference of opinion on that, it's up to the courts to decide," Frank said.

Neither Dolan nor his son, a New Hyde Park volunteer firefighter, were available for comment Wednesday. Christopher Devane, the Mineola attorney representing both Dolans, did not return phone calls.

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The senior Dolan, 68, was arraigned Monday on charges of third-degree grand larceny. His son, 32, was arraigned Tuesday on the same charge.

The commissioner also said in the police statement, "I picked them up. It was my idea." He acknowledged in the statement that the detectors -- valued by police at $3,250 -- were in his New Hyde Park home.

Richard Stein, chairman of the board of commissioners, declined to discuss the case. Other fire commissioners declined to comment on advice of counsel.

Frank said Dolan, who was last elected in 2008 and been involved with the department for more than 40 years, remains on the commission. Referring to the New York State Public Offices Law, Frank said fire district commissioners can be removed by the Supreme Court for "any misconduct, maladministration, malfeasance or malversation in office" after a request by a district resident.

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