Department of Correctional Services

Food Production Center: Seventeen Years of Fraud by the Former Director

The Department of Correctional Services’ Food Production Center, which is located on the grounds of the Oneida Correctional Facility in Rome, New York, is a state-of-the-art facility designed to provide food and drink on a daily basis to inmates of State and local prisons. In a joint audit/investigation conducted with the State Inspector General’s Office, we determined that, as a result of intentional fraud coupled with mismanagement, if not conscious acceptance of improprieties, by senior staff at the Department of Correctional Services, Howard Dean, the now retired Correctional Services Food Processing Center Director, received inappropriate and unlawful time and travel payments totaling about $500,000 from 1992 through August 2008.

Approximately $240,000 of this amount was paid because Mr. Dean was assigned a concocted official work station that allowed him to be in purported travel status for 17 years; he was granted a State vehicle to commute to work with gas and tolls paid for by the State; and he was improperly allowed to lodge in State-provided housing. The remaining $259,000 was paid because Mr. Dean submitted false timesheets and travel vouchers in which he certified to having worked hours he did not, including every Friday for 17 years; false travel vouchers which stated he stayed in a hotel 75 nights when in fact he did not; and fraudulent travel vouchers that included meals and other travel costs he did not incur. The Office of the State Comptroller and the State Inspector General’s Office provided the findings contained in this report to the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office for possible criminal charges, and recommended improvements in the control environment at the Department of Correctional Services.

For a complete copy of Report 2008-S-176 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.