2010-09-30 / Front Page
WEB UPDATE: A Black Eye for Brewster
by Eric Gross
A former member of the Brewster Village Police Department currently serving as the village’s Code Enforcement Officer has given Brewster a “black eye.”
Mayor James Schoenig said the alleged actions of Anthony Serino, 49, of Poughkeepsie, who is facing state prison following his arrest by Brewster State Police on multiple counts of grand larceny, was most unfortunate because “people see this as a black eye to the village while we have a lot of good people who work here.”
During an interview Sunday, the mayor said he was “never so disappointed as when the allegations came to light. Mr. Serino was a trusted member of our police force until he resigned to become Code Enforcement Officer. The guy was ‘Mr. Law and Order’ by ticketing people who failed to cut their lawns, shovel snow, and who illegally parked cars. The arrest came as a tremendous blow.”
Serino was arrested last Thursday following an investigation that centered on the village’s undocumented immigrants.
Brewster State Police Station Commander Sgt. Joseph Malorgio alleged that Serino who was known to the men as a “village police officer, offered to provide the aliens with a legitimate NYS driver’s license in exchange for a substantial fee.”
Malorgio said several of his so-called customers tipped off troopers about the scheme several months ago: “Our investigation in conjunction with the District Attorney’s office led to the arrest,” he said.
Village officials said Serino left the force in 2008 to become Brewster’s Code Enforcement Officer. He is also employed part-time as assistant building inspector for the Town of Dover in Dutchess County.
Mayor Schoenig said Serino was immediately suspended from his $72,000-a-year job pending the outcome of the case: “If found guilty, his position could be terminated.”
Serino was arraigned last week before Brewster Justice Richard O’Rourke and was released on $2,500 bail pending grand jury action.
District Attorney Adam Levy said if found guilty of the six counts of grand larceny—Class E felonies, Serino faces up to six years in state prison.
Sgt. Malorgio said anyone who might have been involved in the scheme or those with additional information relating to the accusations are asked to call Brewster State Police at 279-8656 where all calls will be kept confidential.
The sergeant also thanked Levy and his staff for their assistance in the investigation that led to the former cop’s apprehension.