CHEEKTOWAGA, NY - A local lawmaker has pleaded guilty after collecting thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits when he shouldn't have.
Cheektowaga town councilman Charlie Markel plead guilty Friday to falsifying unemployment benefits, after losing a second job he had in 2011.
Markel has been a council-member in Cheektowaga for more than six years.
Three years ago, Markel lost a job he had as a manager at a West Seneca convenience store after the business closed down.
That same year, Markel says he began claiming unemployment. But, Markel remained a town council member and prosecutors with the Erie County District Attorney's office say that Markel claimed unemployment benefits and said he wasn't working at all.