MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said that after a joint investigation with City of Long Beach officials, a Long Beach Highway Department supervisor and a former Highway Department employee have been charged with stealing equipment totaling $14,000 in value before one of them sold the equipment for scrap for a few hundred dollars.
Charles Porcaro, 48 of Oceanside, was charged with Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree (a D felony) and Official Misconduct (an A misdemeanor). Porcaro is an assistant supervisor in the Long Beach Highway Department. Porcaro was conditionally released to probation by Nassau County Court Judge Jerald Carter and is due back in court on June 26 before Nassau County Court Judge Meryl Berkowitz.
Jeorking Welker, 34 of Long Beach, was charged with Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree (a D felony) and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 3rd Degree (a D felony). Welker is a former part-time employee of the Highway Department. Nassau County Court Judge Jerald Carter set bail at $7,500 bond or $2,500 cash and is due back in court on June 11 before Nassau County Court Judge Meryl Berkowitz.
If convicted of the top charges against them, Porcaro faces a maximum prison sentence of 2-1/3 to seven years, and Welker faces a maximum prison sentence of 3-1/2 to 7 years.
“Long Beach has been hit hard enough by natural disaster – the last thing the city needs is employees stealing equipment from its taxpayers, too,” DA Rice said. “My office will continue to work with Long Beach officials to hold these defendants accountable for this theft.”
Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman said: "We invited the DA in to assist us with this investigation -- this administration has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to employee misconduct."
DA Rice said that on or about September 24, 2013, in preparation for the Long Beach Fall Festival, workers from the Long Beach Highway Department, including Porcaro, were instructed to transport three metal salt spreaders from a locked Highway Department facility to an unlocked Highway Department storage lot, both in Long Beach. Once the three salt spreaders were transported, Porcaro, knowing that he did not have permission to give them away, contacted Welker stating that there were salt spreaders in the yard if he wanted to take them. About one day later Welker rented a truck in Oceanside for the purpose of transporting the equipment; about one day after that Welker sold the equipment, whose total value is approximately $14,000, to a scrap metal company for a total payout of $313. The equipment was scrapped and is unrecoverable.
The equipment was first discovered missing by Long Beach Highway Department officials, who contacted the Long Beach Police Department, who contacted DA Rice’s office on the case.
ADA Jason Herman and Deputy Chief Christiana McSloy of DA Rice’s Public Corruption Bureau are prosecuting the case. Porcaro is represented by Charles Peknic, Esq. Welker is represented by Ilana Kopmar, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.