By Jeanne Sager
ROCK HILL April 25, 2006 The Sheriffs Department investigation into allegations of misdeeds at the Sullivan County SPCA in Rock Hill has begun to bear fruit.
In what Undersheriff Eric Chaboty referred to as a spinoff case, Dominick Dellegrazie, who served as a peace officer investigating cruelty cases for the SPCA from May 2001 through May 2004, has been arrested and indicted.
Dellegrazie, 55, pled guilty to two felony counts of second-degree perjury and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing.
When Dellegrazie applied for a pistol permit in Sullivan County in May 2002, he stated he was employed by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.
Hed actually resigned from the organization a month earlier in lieu of termination.
Dellegrazie also lied about his firing from both the New York Police Department and the New York City Sheriffs Department on the paperwork for a gunsmith/dealers license.
The former police officer was arrested in 1977 for an insurance scam involving a motor vehicle. He was convicted in July 1978 and promptly fired by the NYPD in August of that year.
He later earned a spot in the sheriffs squad in 1997, only to be fired two months later when a background check revealed his conviction and termination by the NYPD.
A Staten Island resident, Dellegrazie now serves as a captain in the Sea Gate New York Police Department, an organization Chaboty said is essentially a glorified homeowners association.
The department serves a portion of Brooklyn at the tip of Coney Island, and its officers are actually peace officers with powers to make arrests.
According to Chaboty, certain peace officers can actually carry guns without applying for a permit.
He was the type of peace officer who could have one without the permit, Chaboty explained.
But Dellegrazie filed nonetheless in 2002, and the paperwork was signed off on by Judge Frank LaBuda.
The problem came to light just recently, Chaboty said, as the Sheriffs Department began investigating each peace officer who has worked with the SPCA.
Upon learning of Dellegrazies dishonesty, an angry LaBuda sent him to Sullivan County Jail without bail.
The part-time Davos resident returned to court later in the day, entering guilty pleas on both charges.
He is expected to return to court July 6 for sentencing.
SPCA Remains Delinquent
Chaboty said the Sheriffs Department is still looking into the SPCAs delinquent status with the New York State Charities Bureau.
In order to collect donations, the non-profit organization must file yearly reports with the bureau, a section of the attorney generals office, Chaboty said.
The last time the organization did so was December 2003.
According to the bureaus Web-site, the Sullivan County SPCA is in violation of New York State law, and its registration to solicit contributions (including grants) from New York State sources (including, without limitation, residents, foundations, corporations and government agencies) is no longer in effect.
Chaboty said he made a report of this delinquency to the Sullivan County Legislature on April 12, when he was approached by SPCA President Bonnie Swack.
Swack said she was not aware of the problem but promised to overnight the necessary paperwork to the attorney generals office.
But as of presstime, the SPCA is still delinquent.
Chaboty said he is not sure how that applies to the funding the organization receives from Sullivan County itself about $15,000 of the countys budget is allotted to the SPCA.
But if money cannot even be collected from a government agency according to the law, Chaboty said the funding may be in question.