DA: Suffolk correction officer improperly collected wages
A Suffolk County correction officer has been charged with collecting wages for hours he wasn't working for more than 2 1/2 years.
Steven Compitello, 53, of Hill Drive in Bohemia, was arrested Friday night on one count of third-degree grand larceny.
Compitello pleaded not guilty and was released on $5,000 cash bail at his arraignment Saturday in First District Court in Central Islip before Judge Paul Hensley.
"This defendant has been collecting a salary while he was not actually working," said Assistant District Attorney Jessica Spencer, who said the case was part of a joint investigation by the Suffolk County district attorney's office and the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office.
Spencer said the investigation is continuing.
Compitello allegedly collected wages for hours he wasn't working from Sept. 15, 2011, to April 3, according to court records. The amount of wages he is accused of wrongly collecting was described in court papers only as more than $3,000 -- the minimum for a third-degree grand larceny charge.
Besides his job with the sheriff's office during that time, Civil Service Department records show Compitello was appointed to a position of call-in/security guard for the Connetquot school district on Sept. 14, 2011.
Compitello's attorney, Thomas Spreer of Babylon, said there also were allegations his client was "double dipping," but he did not elaborate.
"We will investigate the allegations and address them," Spreer said in court Saturday.
In 2013, Compitello billed the county for $84,936 in overtime, more than all but 15 other county employees, according to county payroll records. He made a total of $225,974 that year. His base pay was $125,666. Compitello, a married father of three children, has worked for the sheriff's office for nearly 22 years. His wife, who was in court, ignored requests from a reporter for comment.
Spreer said his client "is a very good man" who has "never been in any trouble."
Compitello comes from a family of many police officers. His uncle, Thomas Compitello, retired as Suffolk County Police Department chief of patrol in 2004 after a 46-year career in law enforcement.
With Matt Clark
and David M. Schwartz