A former Hempstead town sanitation worker was arrested and charged with felonies for obtaining $7,500 in disability payments by falsely claiming he hurt his hand at work, officials said on Tuesday.
Instead, Kevin Breen, 27, of New Hyde Park, on Oct. 2 injured himself when he got intoxicated at Charlie Bullfrog’s bar in New Hyde Park, and at about 4 a.m., fell through a plate-glass window of an empty storefront, the Nassau District Attorney’s office said in a statement.
The former part-time laborer lacerated tendons and nerves in his hand, and was treated at Winthrop University Hospital.
Breen claimed he hurt his hand on September 29, after he jumped off a moving truck and tried to break his fall, District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a release.
He was given a seven-day suspension, starting Oct. 1, and he sought disability payments from the Town of Hempstead. Breen collected more than $7,500 from November 12 to January 21, when medical payments are counted, Singas said.
But on March 11, the state Workers Compensation Board, after a hearing, ruled Breen had broken the law. It disallowed his claim, rescinding the average weekly wage and lost time.
Hempstead town fired Breen on March 30.
Breen, who was represented by the Legal Aid Society, was conditionally released to probation Tuesday, officials said.
He must return to court on June 16 and if found guilty, Breen’s prison sentence could stretch from 2 1⁄3 to 7 years, the release said.
“Disability payments exist to protect hardworking New Yorkers who are legitimately injured in the course of their jobs,” Singas said in the release.
“These wrongful claims cost taxpayers millions of dollars every year,” Singas said, thanking the Hempstead officials who referred the case to her office.
A DA spokesman identified one of the town’s officials as Anthony Mineo, chief investigator, with Hempstead’s Attorney’s Office.