Ex-Lake George Watershed Coalition director finally heading to prison in fraud case

David Decker heading to prison after conviction

David Decker heading to prison after conviction

The man convicted of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Lake George Watershed Coalition is finally heading to prison – more than three years after he was convicted.

David Decker, of Burnt Hills, was sentenced in September 2020 to 8 to 24 years in prison after a month-long trial on grand larceny and fraud counts. Prosecutors said he diverted grant money intended for watershed projects into his personal accounts. Funds were spent at casinos and for personal expenses.

Decker then did not pay contractors for completed projects, claiming that the state was slow in releasing grant funds. Decker also failed to report thousands of dollars of income on his taxes including money collected from a youth basketball league.

Dressed in a blue blazer and maroon V-neck sweater over a dress shirt, Decker appeared with his attorney, Karl Sleight, in Warren County Court on Friday.

Decker, 73, appeared noticeably thinner than when he was sentenced 3 years ago.

He was free pending appeals, which were denied and he was ordered to report for sentencing.

Decker did not speak during the 10-minute proceeding. Judge Robert Smith reviewed the sentences that Decker received on five charges, which are running consecutively for the total prison term of 8 to 24 years. He also must pay restitution — about $77,000 to New York state, $130,000 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, $50,000 to Warren County, $4,182 to Fort William Henry Hotel and $54,000 to the Lake George Fund.

Decker was then placed in handcuffs and turned over to the custody of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office until he is placed in state prison.