By Michael Virtanen
The former project manager of the Lake George Watershed Coalition has been indicted on 22 charges, accused of bilking more than $400,000 over several years from the consortium established to protect the lake’s health and beauty.
David Decker, who joined the organization in 2001 and left following his initial arrest last year, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday. A call to his attorney Joseph Brennan was not immediately returned.
The New York Comptroller’s Office said it did a forensic audit at the request of Warren County authorities, who received a tip. They are seeking restitution in the criminal case.
Decker, 67, from Burnt Hills, is accused of using the money to fund gambling and other luxuries. He posted bail Wednesday with a court conference scheduled July 10.
According to the comptroller’s office, Decker took $187,000 through inflated invoices for unapproved salary hikes and other payments, $135,000 from double billing state and federal grants and $118,000 by taking subcontractors pay and falsifying grant invoices.
Coalition grant-funded projects include stormwater management, wetlands protection and controlling invasive species in the lake.