Ex-Lake George Watershed Coalition leader heading to prison after appeal rebuffed
The state’s highest court has declined to hear an appeal for the man convicted of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Lake George Watershed Coalition.
David Decker, of Burnt Hills, was convicted in March 2020 after a month-long trial on charges of grand larceny and fraud. Prosecutors said that he diverted grant monies for projects into his personal accounts. Funds were spent on casinos and for his personal expenses.
Decker then did not pay contractors for completed projects, claiming that he had not received state reimbursement. Evidence at trial also showed that he did not report thousands of dollars of income on his taxes including money collected from a youth basketball league.
Decker was sentenced in September 2020 to 8 to 24 years in prison. His attorney, Karl Sleight, brought the matter to the Appellate Division 3rd Department, a mid-level appeals court, which denied his appeal in July.
Sleight then appealed the matter to the Court of Appeals, which found there were no grounds to overturn Decker’s convictions or sentence, according to the Warren County District Attorney’s Office.
Decker is expected to report to Warren County Court on Nov. 17 to begin serving his sentence.
“Despite his convictions and sentence, the defendant has remained at liberty pending the appeals process,” said Warren County District Attorney Jason Carusone in a statement. “Now, the decision of the Court of Appeals means the defendant’s sentence will begin, including the requirement that he pay restitution to the victims. He will be directed to surrender himself to begin serving the sentence that was imposed for his betrayals of the public trust.”
When contacted, Sleight said he did not have a comment on the decision beyond “obviously, very disappointed.”
The Times Union was first to report the story.