The former New York state prison director who took every Friday off for 17 years also wrongfully traded gifts and food for millions of dollars in state purchases, reports the Albany Times-Union. For 13 years until 2008, Howard Dean and prison staff received free meals from at least two food vendors that had $2.5 million in purchases with the Food Production Center, which Dean directed, said state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Inspector General Joseph Fisch. Fisch likened the actions of Dean to extortion, while the comptroller cited a “culture of acceptance” of corruption.
Dean, who retired from his $112,743-a-year job in 2008, was the focus of an earlier report in April from Fisch and DiNapoli. It alleged Dean not only took every Friday off for 17 years, but cheated state taxpayers out of $500,000 with false hotel expenses, phony time sheets and improperly collecting travel reimbursements. In Tuesday’s report, like the earlier one, DiNapoli and Fisch said Dean did not act alone. “Mr. Dean exploited his position of power to garner personal benefits from the state,” the report stated. “He was unhampered in his pursuit of these free benefits by any effective management oversight of his activities. In fact, members of his management team exhibited similar, inappropriate behavior.”