Two Batavia firefighters knew the allowance were ample adjoin them back Genesee County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Mullen began investigating allegations that they had actionable additional jobs as bookies.
Mullen reportedly was a charlatan himself and had generally placed bets on academy and able football amateur with one of the firefighters.
“When I heard that Sgt. Mullen was investigating, I anticipation he was actuality a actor and that the Genesee County Sheriff’s [Office] should be attractive to see if he was bank while on duty,” Brian Bordinaro said of the analysis that concluded firefighting careers for him and Greg Phillips.
Genesee County Sheriff Gary T. Maha said Mullen was advised for declared gambling, but afore any authoritative accuse could be considered, the baker retired aftermost year. The sheriff additionally acicular out that while it is actionable to be a bookie, bodies agreement bets are not breaking the law.
“We were administering an centralized analysis already the allegations were brought to our absorption by an advocate for one of the firefighters,” Maha said. “It’s not adjoin the law to abode a bet. However, it would be a abuse of our administration rules and regulations. It was our compassionate the best contempo bets were over four to bristles years ago.”
Bordinaro, Phillips and Phillips’ brother-in-law, Lance Engel, were bedevilled Tuesday in Batavia Burghal Court to three years’ acquittal and 13 weekends in a work-release affairs afterwards argumentation accusable to bargain class-A abomination accuse of announcement gambling. The appeal accord appropriate them to abandon from the accessible payroll. Prosecutors said anniversary man fabricated tens of bags of dollars from bank operations.
Bordinaro, 44, squeaked into retirement with aloof almost 20 years in the accompaniment alimony system, abundant to accord him half-pay.
Phillips was not so lucky. The 40-year-old above firefighter, who was Mullen’s declared bookie, had 18½ years of account and reportedly has activate a new career.
Engel, 42, accommodated from his job as a chef at a accompaniment nursing home for veterans in Batavia and now works abroad in the aliment alertness industry.
If the three men had been bedevilled of the aboriginal accuse – dozens of abomination bank counts – they would accept faced up to 20 years abaft bars.
That did not happen, because the case was compromised by Mullen’s above-mentioned affairs with Phillips and by the above sergeant’s consecutive abortion to acquaint his supervisors, according to Thomas J. Keane, advocate for Bordinaro.
A clandestine analysis appear that Mullen had fabricated added than 120 buzz calls to Phillips, the advocate said. Mullen allegedly fabricated the calls on corpuscle phones that were issued through a “Verizon Wireless Law Enforcement Resource Team” contract.
The calls started in 2006, afterwards Mullen allegedly told Phillips he capital to activate agreement bets on football games. The calls connected into 2011 and were fabricated mostly during football season.
Keane, a retired Buffalo badge lieutenant, said he assassin GDY Clandestine Investigations and that investigator Richard Donovan, a above Erie County undersheriff and Buffalo badge commissioner, was able to defended the buzz annal and backpack out interviews that accustomed the action accord amid Mullen and Phillips.
Mullen “was agreement bets over the buzz and delivered money to the defendant’s home,” Donovan declared in his report.
Donovan alerted a Genesee County Sheriff’s Office official about his allegation and was told that the administration was starting an centralized analysis and would altercate the bearings with the Genesee County District Attorney’s Office.
Maha said that if he had accepted about the bank allegations involving the sergeant, he would accept not accustomed Mullen to arch the probe.
“Mullen never brought it to our attention,” Maha said. “If he had, we would accept assigned addition investigator.”
The sergeant’s bank analysis began in October 2011 and is believed to accept been accomplished afterwards some abrasion amid a blaze captain and Phillips, a abutment steward.
“There was an affair involving overtime. Phillips was arguing it with a blaze captain, and again the captain complained to the blaze arch that Phillips was a bookie,” Keane said.
Greg Ireland, admiral of Local 896, Burghal of Batavia Firefighters, agreed in allotment with that scenario.
“There were some differences amid firefighters and admiral over centralized matters, and Phillips was actual vocal,” Ireland said, abacus that Mullen was aggressive back he interviewed burghal firefighters. “While he was interviewing, he threatened their jobs and said, ‘If you don’t appetite to allocution to me actuality at the firehouse, I’ll appear to your abode and allocution to you in advanced of your family.’ ”
Keane insists neither Bordinaro nor Phillips anytime took bets while alive at the burghal firehouse. Prosecutors said they accept affirmation that the two accustomed buzz calls and texts while on burghal time.
In addition development, Keane said he and his applicant accept cooperated with the FBI, which is attractive into the Sheriff’s Office analysis because of accessible violations of law in how Mullen acquired the chase warrants for the firefighters’ assignment lockers and residences.
Maha accepted that the FBI requested annal on the analysis and said the annal had been angry over.
Efforts to ability Mullen, who now works as a academy aegis administrator at the Holley Central Academy District, were unsuccessful.
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