ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — An employee of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has admitted to submitting over two dozen forged doctor’s notes to falsely obtain sick leave benefits, according to New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang. Kathleen Baeder, of Essex County, pleaded guilty to attempted criminal possession of a forged instrument.
According to the Offices of the Inspector General, an investigation found from October 21, 2021, to February 2, 2022, Baeder submitted 28 forged doctor’s notes to the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision as an employee at Adirondack Correctional Facility. The forged notes extended Baeder’s sick leave over a four-month period, receiving over $4,500 in benefits she wasn’t entitled to.
Baeder received five years of probation and was ordered to pay $4,593 in restitution.
“This case serves as an important reminder of why we build strong partnerships with law enforcement and state agencies,” said New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang. “The work and swift communication between the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, New York State Police, and the Offices of the Inspector General, led to the apprehension and prosecution of a state employee abusing workplace benefits and violating the public trust.”
“Any Individual who violates the public’s trust by engaging in criminal activity, will be aggressively pursued and referred for criminal prosecution,” said DOCCS Acting Commissioner Daniel J. Martuscello III. “Illegal action such as this negatively impacts the hard-working staff who perform their duties in a professional manner, often under difficult circumstances, to achieve the mission of the Department and provide public safety for the state. DOCCS appreciates the cooperation of the various agencies that resulted in the criminal prosecution of this former employee.”