Photo Courtesy: Associated Press
The New York State Police arrested a state-employed therapist on Wednesday who allegedly was being paid for work with disabled clients when she instead was coaching college and high school sports teams.
Arrested was Renee A. Smith, 28, a Livingston County woman who worked with the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, or OPWDD. She was arrested after a state Office of the Inspector General investigation into whether she was bilking taxpayers.
She has been charged with 10 felony counts connected with alleged filing of false time cards and a count of fourth-degree grand larceny, also a felony.
She allegedly stole over $1,100 through the payments.
Smith has worked with individuals with disabilities for OPWDD as a full-time recreational therapist through the Finger Lakes Developmental Disabilities Office, according to a news release from the state Inspector General Office. She also was employed as a coach for sports teams at Genesee Community College (GCC) and Livonia Central School District.
Multiple times, Smith claimed on records that she was working as a therapist when she in fact was coaching softball and basketball teams, the Inspector General Office alleges. Once, she said she was on the clock for OPWDD when she in fact was traveling to Myrtle Beach with the GCC softball team, according to the allegations.
Smith, who could not be reached immediately for comment, is scheduled to be arraigned in Rochester City Court on April 30.
She has been employed as a recreational therapist for OPWDD since 2009. Her current salary is $45,952.
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle