Former President Pleads Guilty to Illegally Boosting Pay

September 25, 2018

David Smith, former president of State University of New York Upstate Medical University, has pleaded guilty to abusing his position to illegally increase his pay.

New York attorney general Barbara Underwood announced Monday that Smith pleaded guilty to three counts of official misconduct. As part of the plea agreement, Smith must pay over $250,000 in restitution and fines and will be sentenced to three years of probation in December. If he fails to adhere to the terms of his probation, he could face up to three years in jail.

In 2007, Smith directed an employee to approve an unauthorized raise of $28,450. He received proceeds from that raise through his retirement in 2013, totaling $189,412 in additional unearned salary. Smith also received reimbursements for housing expenses above his $5,000 monthly housing allowance and oversaw the creation of a deferred compensation plan through MedBest Medical Management Inc. for himself and others without the authorization of the SUNY chancellor.

“David Smith brazenly abused his position and exploited those he served in order to line his own pockets -- and now he’s facing the consequences,” Underwood said in a press release. “We have zero tolerance for those who try to game the system and violate the public trust, and my office will continue to hold public officials to account.”

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