Former Rome Police Officer heading to jail for 'Double Dipping'

By GARY LIBERATORE

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - Retired Rome Police Officer Thomas Hubal will show up at the Oneida County Jail on Monday at 9 a.m. and be there until 6 p.m., but it's not for a job, but rather, to begin his jail sentence.

Hubal was sentenced in Oneida County Court Friday morning for Grand Larceny. He admitted collecting $88,000 in state pension money that he was not entitled to under state law. Now he will have to pay back every penny, and he will spend six months in jail.

After a lengthy investigation by the State Comptroller's Office, Hubal admitted collecting his police pension while collecting a paycheck from the Rome City School District for being the district's head of security. This so-called 'double-dipping' went on for eight years.

It's not illegal to do both, but you need the state's approval for a special waiver. Hubal never got that special waiver, and on Friday, when Judge Michael Dwyer asked him if he had anything to say, Hubal pointed the finger at the Rome City School District.

"There was never any intent to defraud anyone," Hubal told Judge Michael Dwyer. "I went to work all the time. I paid taxes on all the money. I was told by the school district it was all taken care of. They would take care of all of the paperwork with the state. I never got a letter from the state nor did the school district ever say to me, we've got a problem, we need to deal with it."

WKTV contacted the Rome City School's Superintendent's office to get the district's response, but so far, we have not received a call back.

The district has been ordered by the State Comptroller's Office to review its practices in light of this and improve its internal controls to make sure this doesn't happen again.

Since Thomas Hubal's wife has some medical issues and he says he needs to be there for her, Judge Dwyer is allowing Hubal to serve his six months in jail on a 9 to 6 basis.

Starting Monday, he will show up to the Oneida County Jail at 9 a.m. in the morning and be released every day at 6 p.m. so he can be there for his wife overnight.

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