Share this article

print logo

DA appealing dismissal of fraud charges against fireman’s wife

LOCKPORT – The Niagara County District Attorney’s Office has decided to appeal the dismissal of charges against Shirley Moreland, wife of a Pendleton man under indictment on charges of perjury and workers’ compensation fraud.

A notice of appeal was filed Thursday in the case. Two weeks ago, County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III threw out fraud and filing a false instrument charges against Shirley Moreland, but let stand a 19-count indictment against James Moreland, 66, of Dunnigan Road. He faced the same counts as his wife, plus two counts of perjury for allegedly lying to an administrative law judge for the state Workers’ Compensation Board about not doing any volunteer work.

The board cut off his benefits in 2012, accusing him of taking part in numerous fire and rescue calls for the Wendelville Volunteer Fire Company while collecting comp benefits attributed to a neck injury suffered while he was driving a truck for a local blacktopping company in 2008.

Shirley Moreland, 65, had filled out the compensation forms along with her husband, where they answered “no” to a question about him engaging “in any work activity … on an unpaid basis.” They didn’t think that pertained to volunteer firefighting. Murphy ditched against Shirley Moreland, calling the indictment an “overreaching attempt on the part of the authorities to to entangle Mrs. Moreland in offenses that are more clearly the responsibility of her husband.”