Former Public Works Employees Charged with Official Misconduct for Using County Inspection Stickers on Personal Vehicles

Modified: March 11, 2022 10:45am

3/11/2022

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that three former employees of the Erie County Department of Public Works were arraigned yesterday evening before Lancaster Town Court Justice Jeremy A. Colby following a criminal investigation into the misuse of New York State inspection certificate stickers designated for Erie County vehicles. Last night, Christopher N. Bugenhagen, 48, of Williamsville, Andrew C. Kasprzyk, 33, of Holland, and Carmen V. Turchiarelli, 39, of Pembroke were each arraigned on one count of Official Misconduct (Class “A” misdemeanor).

It is alleged that between February 10, 2021 and September 23, 2021, the defendants, while working as mechanics for the Erie County Department of Public Works Division of Highways, used inspection stickers, designated for county equipment, on their personal vehicles. It is further alleged that the defendants provided inspection stickers to other individuals to use on their personal vehicles. The alleged crime occurred at the Division of Highways “Clarence Division” building located on Cemetery Road in the Town of Lancaster. An audit by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles allegedly found that a total of 26 inspection stickers were improperly used. The defendants have since been terminated from their positions.

Bugenhagen, Kasprzyk and Turchiarelli are scheduled to return on Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. for further proceedings. All three were released on their own recognizance as the charge is a non-qualifying offense for bail.

If convicted of the charge, the defendants face a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

DA Flynn commends the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, New York State Police and the Erie County Department of Public Works for their work in this investigation.   

The case is being prosecuted by Chief Candace K. Vogel of the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.