Former Watervliet police chief sentenced for stealing from funeral home

A former police chief in Watervliet will spend the next six months behind bars.

Mark Fiet pleaded guilty to grand larceny and falsifying business records for stealing thousands of dollars from a funeral home where he worked for over 30 years.

The Albany County District Attorney says, Fiet and another employee, Sam Catalano, actually stole hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In court, Fiet apologized, saying he deeply regretted his actions.

Judge Stephen Herrick said he originally planned on sentencing Fiet to more than a year in state prison, but took Fiet’s heart ailments into account.

Still, Fiet’s attorney, E. Stewart Jones, says he was disappointed with the sentence.

“It’s less, obviously, than the District Attorney’s office wanted, which was three years, but nonetheless it’s disappointing given his health conditions,” pointed out Jones.

“Any sentence, any conviction, sends a very loud message to the criminals that are out there engaged in financial crimes, the white collar criminals who believe that they can engage in these crimes and never be held to account. And I think that this goes a long way in sending a message that you cannot get away with this kind of crime, that this kind of crime doesn’t pay,” noted Soares.

Fiet will spend six months in Albany County Jail, serve five years’ probation, and 500 hours’ community service.

He also has to pay back Parker Brothers Funeral Home more than $51,000 in restitution.