Former deputy gets no jail and can no longer be police officer
Covis sentenced for petit larceny for ‘double dipping’
ALBION – A former Orleans County sheriff’s deputy was sentenced this afternoon for petit larceny and falsifying business records. Dean Covis won’t have to go to jail or be on probation. He also can’t work again as a police officer, Sara Sheldon, an interim County Court judge, said today during sentencing.
Dean Covis last July was indicted on felony grand larceny in the third degree he and another deputy, Tom Marano, were accused of falsifying time sheets when they were hired for security by Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners, which operates a hydroelectric plant in Waterport.
Covis and Marano on Feb. 26 both pleaded guilty to petit larceny and falsifying business records. Marano will be sentenced next Monday.
Covis, 53, admitted to filing false time sheets for about 690 hours at Brookfield from approximately Nov. 26, 2013 to Jan. 3, 2015. Covis has paid $12,915 in restitution.
Covis in court today said he has been committed to the community his whole life. Besides working as a law enforcement officer, he has been an active firefighter, and was a former volunteer fire chief for Albion.
“I’m a hometown guy,” Covis told Judge Sheldon. “I love the county. I’ve tried to help others.”
Covis said he is highly trained in law enforcement and “went above and beyond.” He was promoted to the level of sergeant in the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office.
He is currently working a part-time job at minimum wage. He told the judge he looks forward to working full-time to get caught up on his bills and to take care of his family.
Lawrence Friedman, the district attorney in Genesee County, served as special prosecutor for the case. He noted probation and the state police investigator didn’t request jail or probation for Covis. Friedman, however, asked for jail and also that Covis not work again in law enforcement. Friedman said he agreed with a letter submitted to the court from Chuck Nesbitt, the county’s chief administrative officer, who said Covis had violated a “public trust” with the crime.
Judge Sheldon didn’t believe jail or probation was necessary, but she said Covis will have to find a new career outside of law enforcement.
“When you’re a police officer you’re held to a higher standard,” she said. “You were caught double-dipping, which is a crime. I don’t think you should return to being a police officer because you have disgraced that organization, as well as yourself.”