NIAGARA FALLS, NY ( WKBW ) Niagara Falls Public Works employee Clarence Bradley was escorted out of city hall around 10:30 a.m., Tuesday.
Just minutes later, he was arraigned and charged with Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree and Attempt to File False Instruments.
Mayor Paul Dyster told Eyewitness News Bradley was collecting unemployment from the city while on the job as the Director of the "Zoom Program" in the Public Works Dept. The Zoom Program helps to clean up neighborhoods in the area.
This is a class D-Felony. The Mayor says it was brought to his attention in January after routine paperwork checks of unemployment information. The New York State Department of Labor immediately got involved. They found Bradley was allegedly collecting unemployment from October 11th through December of 2010. No total dollar amount was given.
Mayor Dyster did not know the exact amount of years Bradley was with the city, but noted Bradley has been there for all of his term as Mayor. Bradley has put on unpaid administrative leave.
Meantime, another Falls City employee James Curtis was also in court Tuesday. He plead Not Guilty to Misdemeanor Solicitation of a Prostitute while on the job.
He is also on unpaid administrative leave.
It’s not the first time he has been in trouble. A year ago, Curtis was charged with a misdemeanor hate crime for putting a “whites only” sign above a water fountain. He was off probation for the hate crime when he was arrested for the solicitation charge.
The difference in these two cases is that Bradley is an “at will” employee. He can remain on unpaid administrative leave for as long as it takes to get to the next step in the legal process or his termination.
Curtis is a “civil service” employee. He is currently on unpaid administrative leave but could only remain with that status for 20 days according to the terms of collective bargaining. After 20 days, he must go on paid administrative leave until the legal process comes to a conclusion, or he is terminated.
Eyewitness News will continue to follow this story.