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Niagara Supervisor Richards Pleads Guilty After Stepping Down

(WBEN) Niagara Town Supervisor Steven Richards  stepped down yesterday, saying he was retiring.Today he told a judge why, with a guilty plea that says he basically used town resources for his own personal profit.,

Richards, in office since 1995 , pleaded guilty to a class a misdemeanor charge of official misconduct.

The charge comes after an investigation by the state Attorney General's office and the FBI found he used town workers to pick up and deliver a cement catch basin to his workplace led to a 23-count indictment. . As part of the plea agreement he will pay $1240. 37 and could face as many as three years in jail when sentenced in July

Here's the announcement from the NYS Attorney General's Office

NIAGARA - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the conviction of Steven C. Richards and his immediate retirement as Town of Niagara Supervisor. Richards, 61, of Lawson Drive in Niagara, pleaded guilty to Official Misconduct, a class A misdemeanor, before the Hon. Christopher J. Burns in Niagara County Court. Sentencing is scheduled for July 14th.

"Steven Richards has admitted that he misused his position and used town resources to benefit himself personally, abusing both his office and the trust placed in him by the public," Attorney General Schneiderman said. "He has vacated his office and submitted his retirement papers last week. With Richards’ retirement and guilty plea, we have ensured that hardworking Niagara families will no longer have to pay for their town supervisor’s personal use of town property and resources."

Specifically, Richards admitted that he used Town of Niagara workers on town time in Town of Niagara vehicles to pick up and deliver a catch basin to his personal place of business, Richards Motor Service, located at 5000 Sweet Home Road in the Town of Niagara.

The indictment was the result of an investigation conducted by Special Agents Robert Gross and Brian Burns of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Attorney General Investigators Sandy Migaj and Denise Crawford, and Chief Investigator Richard Doyle. The Attorney General thanks the F.B.I. for their assistance with this case.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Diane M. LaVallee and Paul McCarthy, Deputy Bureau Chief of Public Integrity Bureau Stacey Aronowitz, Chief of Public Integrity Bureau Daniel Cort, and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan. 

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