By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO August 29, 2006 Former Sullivan County Department of Public Works Commissioner Peter Lilholt was sentenced to six months in jail, five years probation and a fine of $2,420 in restitution plus $210 in surcharges for his role in the theft of thousands of dollars worth of county equipment.
He entered prison Thursday evening.
Lilholt plead guilty to multiple counts of grand larceny and defrauding the government last month.
He and former Deputy Commissioner Phil Nicoletti were charged with 42 criminal counts for allegedly taking power washers, parts washers, welders, a back blower, a rotary tiller and other items.
Lilholt revealed the details of the crimes at a disciplinary hearing last year at the Sullivan County Government Center. He fingered Nicoletti for using his position to order the washers and then deliver them to his home.
Lilholt also admitted to being a part of a group of DPW officials which broke into the countys personnel office twice.
County District Attorney Stephen Lungen described the actions of Lilholt as very disappointing.
Lilholt admitted his guilt from the beginning and cooperated with the county, said Lungen. He returned all the items he stole.
He was a county department head who stole. He deserved to be prosecuted, said Lungen. Its a shame that he spent over thirty years with the county, and he was a Vietnam veteran
Hopefully, when he gets out of jail he will be able to put his life back together.
The arson at the Government Center, which occurred on the same day as Lilholts testimony, has still not been solved. An investigation continues.
The sentencing for Nicoletti, who also plead guilty, will occur on September 13.
Former DPW employees Richard Caraluzzo and Amy Winters, who allegedly teamed with Lilholt and Nicoletti in the personnel office break-ins and an attempt to blackmail legislator Kathleen LaBuda, have both been fired from their jobs.
Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Chris Cunningham declined to comment.