Skip to main content

Le Roy FD treasurer who stole from department given short jail term, probation

By Howard B. Owens
    Dennis Snow

In most embezzlement cases, said Judge Robert C. Noonan during the sentencing of Dennis Snow, the victim is "out for blood."

That wasn't the case with Snow, who was accused of stealing at least $16,000 from the Le Roy Fire Department. In this case, some members of the department sent in letters asking for some degree of leniency with Snow, even those who thought Snow should spend some time in jail.

Even Det. John Condidorio, whom Noonan characterized as "strong willed," wrote a letter in support of Snow.

However, an element of sentencing, said Noonan, is that a sentence should not "cause the public to lose confidence in the justice system."

"People ask why a woman can steal a scarf from Walmart and go to jail but a person who steals tens of thousands of dollars doesn't," Noonan said.

Those in the judicial system understand all the factors that go into sentencing an individual, but that doesn't satisfy the public's confusion over the disparity.

For that reason, Noonan sentenced Snow to a 30-day intermittent jail term. From 6 p.m. on Fridays until 6 p.m. on Sundays, Snow will serve time in the Genesee County Jail. His sentence starts this Friday.

Snow's attorney, Clark Zimmerman, tried to argue that any jail time could jeopardize Snow's job, which occasionally requires travel and weekend work.

"I don't think anybody wants that to happen given the amount of restitution required," Zimmerman said.

He also noted that Snow's wife has significant health issues.

At one time, Snow was accused of stealing $60,000 from the fire department, a figure first uncovered by the state's Office of Comptroller. The firefighters' benevolence association had an independent audit completed and arrived at a figure unpaid of just over $16,000.  

Snow was apparently taking money and returning some of it over a period of time. Zimmerman said he always made sure the department had enough money to cover critical expenses. He didn't disclose what Snow was doing with the money. He said his client had already reimbursed the department at least $8,000, but as a term of the plea deal, Snow could not dispute the restitution claim.

Upon completion of his jail term, Snow will be on probation for five years.

When asked to speak, Snow sobbed throughout his short statement to Noonan.

"I want to apologize in public to the Le Roy Fire Department and all the members, past and present, whose trust I violated," Snow said.

He apologized to his family for embrassing them and to the community that he said he has loved for 30 years.

Brian Graz

Let's stop filling the jails... IT"S EXPENSIVE!!!

Personally I think if full restitution plus interest {financial penalty} was to be made, there is no need for jail time. Jail time cost us taxpayers a LOT of money! We need to stop incarcerating people for minor offenses if there is a viable alternative punishment.

Aug 19, 2015, 1:04am Permalink
Ed Hartgrove

Brian. I'm trying to figure out exactly what you meant.
If someone stole $10,000 from you, and a year later, you found out about it, would you be satisfied if they reimbursed the amount stolen plus interest?
What happens if you SUDDENLY need the use of the stolen money, only to find that you can't get it for, say, 6 months, or a year (or until the thief can pay you back)?
To me, anyways, it would appear that you'd be advocating that victims should agree to act as unwitting loan institutions. As long as they eventually get their money (plus interest) back, no foul commited?

Aug 19, 2015, 1:24am Permalink
Mary E DelPlato

im not saying what he did was alright but when it comes to gambling to those of us that are hypnotized by the lure you do things you don't normally do...hopefully he will get the help he need....without help there is no hope....

Aug 19, 2015, 8:12am Permalink
Daniel Jones

Ed - Actually, yes, if someone stole from me and I was paid back with interest, plus a requirement that they have to perform a hefty amount of community service, I would feel much more compensated than costing the taxpayers some horrendous amount of money to incarcerate him. Let's leave jails and prisons for actually violent offenders and major frauds like Bernie Madoff, and make non-violent ones work their rear ends off to compensate for what they did. I don't know him or anything about the situation, but if he loses his job then no one will get anything back.

Aug 19, 2015, 1:28pm Permalink
Raymond Richardson

"Personally I think if full restitution plus interest {financial penalty} was to be made, there is no need for jail time."

So people who are in a position of trust should just be allowed to pay back what they stole and get a slap on the wrist? No lesson learned? No example made of for other people to see what will happen if they are in the same situation?

Maybe we should come up with something similar for murderers. They took someone's life, so basically they owe a new life to family of the person they killed, intentionally, and should be made to create a new life within that family, and not do anytime in prison, because it's all about tax dollars and cents?


Aug 19, 2015, 3:06pm Permalink
Robert Bombard

i agree with brian stop putting people in jail for petty crimes when there are other alternatives. Make him volunteer at the fire dept. doing the grunt work, polish those fire engines and paint some fire hydrants. Make him be around those who he disappointed. Have him learn from his mistakes, not just a lil week-end time and then he can hibernate away from everyone. I say 5 years community service 8 hrs every week.

Where were the trustees, chief and asst. chief when this was happening? Don't they do internal audits to question, questionable activity before it gets to a comptroller audit? This seems like it could have been caught internally and then handled internally. Someone should have seen a little something off.

Aug 19, 2015, 9:42pm Permalink
Ed Hartgrove

OK, Daniel. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
It sounds like you've never had a DESPERATE need for money.
Ever heard of Sandra Bland? If not, please, google her name & read up on her plight. Right or wrong, innocent or guilty, I have to believe that her family would have sent her 'bail' money, IF they had it. But, they reportedly didn't have the funds to cover her bail. Now, how do you think they would've felt if they HAD the money, but, found out that somebody had stolen it out of their account? Do you really suppose that they'd have thought, "That's OK. The thief will be paying us back, with interest. So I'll just have to tell Sandra that we can get her out of jail when our money is returned"?
Sorry, Daniel, but I refuse to think that re-payment is sufficient.
But, you well have the right to think that way.

Aug 19, 2015, 9:52pm Permalink
Brian Graz

Maybe, Ed and Ray, since you both are so high on filling the jails that are already too full, you fellas should start including an extra donation along with your taxes, and earmark it "to be used exclusively for corrections costs". I'm sorry but your arguments supporting your positions here are counter-intuitive... foolish really.

Aug 21, 2015, 2:28pm Permalink
Ed Hartgrove

Hey, Brian.
Just wondering if you could possibly share your checking account & PIN numbers with me. See, although my car is running fine right now, it's getting a little 'long in the tooth'. So, should I need some immediate large amount of cash, that'd sure help me.
I promise, if I 'borrow' it without your knowledge or consent, I will fully repay you. With interest!
C'mon! Put your money where your typing keys are.
Ya can't beat a deal like THAT!

Aug 21, 2015, 4:27pm Permalink
Kyle Couchman

Really Brian and how foolish is your idea to make donations to cover incarceration costs. I have an Idea..... Lets just let everyone out and move them into your neighborhood. Do you ever do any research on what incarceration is really like? Its not all that great or expensive. Ask any corrections officer, the stuff they are issued is slightly more than crap and they get only the very basics in needs. All the extras that make people on the outside think they are coddled are bought with commisary funds. Which they get from family and friends.

Maybe we should just crowd them in, Fire half the guards (to save money) and remove commisary for them and let them thin themselves out. Maybe make it unpleasant enough that it becomes a punishment again. Let them kill and hurt each other with minimal interference.

Isn't that what you are implying Brian as an alternative? How foolish does that sound?

Aug 21, 2015, 9:51pm Permalink
John Roach

This was not some drug use or sale crime, where you might say it is not your business what he does. This was stealing money from others. A crime against other people. That is what jail is for.

I have no problem with the sentence. The victim(s) here are ok with it and meets the needs of justice. But I would have been ok if he had been sent to jail for awhile also if the victims had wanted that. This sentence works well for everyone.

The silly statement by Brian is just that. Maybe Brian can tell us how much money a person has to steal before he thinks jail is justified?

Aug 22, 2015, 6:22am Permalink
Raymond Richardson

"This was stealing money from others. A crime against other people."

And since LeRoy's Fire District is run by a Board of Fire Commissioners, that means the a large part of the Department's budget is funded by tax dollars.

He stole from tax payers.

Brain, you ARE a tax payer, aren't you?

Aug 22, 2015, 10:50am Permalink
Rich Richmond

It will be wise for such organizations to have safe guards in place such as bi-yearly audits of the books; whether in house by the board of directors or by an independent auditor. The board of directors should sign off on the books as correct and balanced bi-yearly.

I’d also suggest two signatures on every check and the requirement all checks written and all deposit slips are photocopied and saved.

I’d also suggest each member of the board of directors be sent a copy of the monthly bank statement and/or one or more have access to the said account on line access.

I agree with restitution and I’d like to restitution at twice the amount stolen and a lien on his assets, assuming he has any until his debt is paid.

Aug 22, 2015, 5:20pm Permalink
Brian Graz

Here we go once again... hey Raymond Richardson, maybe you think it's clever to abuse my name and call me "Brain" as you have done [obviously intentionally] several times thru the past. Well my name for you is *******. Just so you know you're not the only one who can be nasty in these threads.

Aug 22, 2015, 9:11pm Permalink
Raymond Richardson

" Well my name for you is *******"

Well I guess if Prince wants to be called an unpronounceable symbol, you can be referred to as ******* if you like *grins*

Have a good day *******

Aug 23, 2015, 9:57am Permalink

Authentically Local