DiNapoli: Whalen allegedly stole more than 100K

By Suzanne Proulx
By Brandi Bailey

October 3, 2013 Updated Oct 4, 2013 at 1:34 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The former Binghamton Parks and Recreation director stole more than $100,000 in taxpayer funds for personal use and loans to his sons.

Back in April, John Whalen pleaded not guilty to second degree grand larceny charges.

Whalen allegedly stole $108,000 from taxpayers between 2007 and 2012, according to the New York State Comptroller.

He is accused of using $19,550 for payments and/or wire transfers to his sons or their student loan companies. An additional $17,900 was spent for his mortgage and $10,400 was spent on personal credit cards, cell phone, insurance, gas and flowers.

"While the State Comptroller's report was very detailed, it only analyzed accounts going back five years," Mayor Matt Ryan said. "The city will be looking into these accounts for an additional five years to see if further legal recourse is necessary. "

The city closed the department's unsupervised account and placed stricter controls.

Whalen's case is pending in Broome County Court.

Binghamton city Spokesman Kyle Seeley said public employees are not permitted to have unsupervised accounts or pay personal bills with taxpayer money.

"The account was misrepresented as a city account by a devious individual but established in an individual’s TIN and address with a
city sounding name on the account," Seeley wrote. "This account was controlled by the individual using their own address and misusing the city’s Federal ID Number without authorization.

"The City received no statements or receipts involving this account; and banks will not allow us to research their account names to check for potential similar misrepresentation cases, or to even give us a list of accounts using our FIN."