NY judge drops most charges in rail pension case

AP News
Posted: Dec 14, 2009 1:00 PM

A New York judge has dismissed most of a 53-count indictment against a longtime Long Island Rail Road employee linked to a disability pension scandal.

Defense attorney William Petrillo calls Friday's ruling a "giant first step" toward his client's complete exoneration.

Fred Kreuder (KROO'-dehr) was charged last year with official misconduct. Revelations had surfaced that virtually every LIRR employee who applied was granted disability pension benefits from a federal railroad agency.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's (KWOH'-mohz) office argued that while on duty, Kreuder advised co-workers on the proper way to file disability forms. Petrillo said his client may have violated ethics, but did not commit a crime.

Five remaining counts against Kreuder allege he failed to pay income tax on money he made as an adviser.