State office tightens controls after employee allegedly sold agency’s scrap metal

CLAVERACK, N.Y. — Supervision and internal controls will be tightened at the New York State Office of Children and Family Services after an investigation revealed a supervisor made thousands selling the agency’s scrap metal.

New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott’s investigation revealed that John Onufrychuk, a maintenance supervisor who worked at the Brookwood Secure Center, an OCFS facility in Claverack, sold or directed subordinate employees to sell 36 loads of scrap metal to a salvage company in Catskill between April 2009 and December 2011. Additionally, the investigation found that state vehicles were used to transport the scrap.

He allegedly made $2,000 from the sales.

The inspector general further found Brookwood management failed to properly supervise Onufrychuk and that OCFS and Brookwood failed to enforce compliance with property inventory and disposal policies.

Onufrychuk, 62, of Hudson was suspended by OCFS in December 2011. During the pending disciplinary proceedings, he retired in March 2013. Onufrychuk was employed by OCFS for 27 years at the Brookwood Secure Center.

The inspector general recommended that Brookwood conduct a full property inventory in conformance with agency policy and that OCFS ensure that all agency facilities are conforming to agency policy. Additionally, Inspector General Scott recommended that Brookwood train and better supervise its employees to ensure all property, including scrap, is secure.

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