ALBANY — An engineer who formerly supervised a major construction project in Washington County was put on probation Tuesday for a year for stealing more than $17,000 from the project.
Jerome Lauzon, 45, of Gansevoort, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Albany for misappropriating money from a federally funded program. He could have faced up to 10 years in federal prison, but prosecutors joined with his defense counsel to request probation. Restitution was paid.
Lauzon, formerly an employee of the state Department of Transportation, was the engineer in charge of a $10.5 million road reconstruction project on Route 4 in Washington from 2012 to 2017. The Federal Highway Administration provided 80 percent of the funding for the contract.
In pleading guilty, Lauzon admitted that employees of the project contractor purchased more than $17,000 in goods and services for Lauzon’s personal use and Lauzon unlawfully reimbursed the contractor for these purchases using project funds.
These goods and services included more than $2,500 worth of repairs to Lauzon’s personal car, a home entertainment surround sound system, a laptop computer, a computer monitor, a printer, lumber for a treehouse, a paint sprayer, a lawnmower, a snowblower and a power washer.
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Lauzon previously paid restitution to New York State as part of a related case brought in Albany City Court.
He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of official misconduct in that case last year after an investigation by the state Inspector General’s Office, which found that he received goods and services that were billed to the state project he oversaw.
Authorities did not say whether the contractor who was involved was prosecuted. Court records identity the company as “Company A of Saratoga County” and indicate the employees involved cooperated with investigators.
State records show Lauzon no longer has an engineering license in New York.
His lawyer, Derrick Hogan, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. But in court records, he wrote that Lauzon was remorseful and had been under stress because of a family illness and had “turned to alcohol” to cope with stress.
He had no prior criminal record before the theft cases and has completed substance abuse counseling, Hogan wrote.
“Mr. Lauzon has already paid a very high price for his misconduct and now bears the shame of being a ‘felon,’” Hogan wrote.
Don Lehman covers police and court matters and Warren County government. He can be reached at 518-742-3224 or email@example.com