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Former N.Y. corrections officer sentenced for using fake medical notes to get sick leave

The former Five Points Correctional Facility corrections officer submitted 13 false medical notes between December 2021 and July 2022

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By Robert Harding
The Citizen, Auburn, N.Y.

AUBURN, N.Y. — A former correction officer at a state prison in central New York has been sentenced after admitting to submitting false medical notes to obtain sick leave.

Stephanie Saber, 29, will serve five years probation after pleading guilty in November to first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. She was sentenced by Seneca County Judge Barry Porsch.

The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, which oversees New York’s prisons, referred the matter to the state inspector general’s office. The inspector general’s investigation found Saber, who was employed at Five Points Correctional Facility in Seneca County, submitted 13 false medical notes between December 2021 and July 2022.

Saber told investigators she filed the notes, which claimed to be from medical practitioners, as excuses for work absences.

“The conduct of this correction officer abusing sick leave benefits is particularly egregious because she was in a prime position to know the impact that shortages in correctional facility staffing pose to the safety of staff and incarcerated individuals alike,” Inspector General Lucy Lang said. “By forging these notes to justify unwarranted sick days, she betrayed not only her oath to New York state but her colleagues.”

Saber no longer works for DOCCS. The department fired her during the investigation and cooperated with the inspector general’s inquiry.

Daniel Martuscello, acting DOCCS commissioner, said the sentencing shows the department “will not tolerate fraudulent misconduct from staff.”

“As we face critical staffing shortages, this type of behavior further exacerbates the difficulties of this job and does a disservice to the hardworking staff who show up day in and day out to help keep our communities safe,” Martuscello added.

Lang thanked the state police for assisting with Saber’s arrest and Seneca County District Attorney John Nabinger for prosecuting the case.


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