You are here

Park Service's Top Investigator Pleads Guilty To Theft


After nearly 30 years with the National Park Service, Patricia Buccello retired last Friday after serving most recently as the agency's top special agent in charge. Yesterday she entered a guilty plea to stealing from the Park Service.

The case revolved around using a government credit card to buy airline tickets to fly from Washington, D.C., to Maine, where Ms. Buccello's husband is a ranger at Acadia National Park.

While Ms. Buccello pleaded guilty to buying more than $4,000 worth of tickets over a two-year period, apparently the total dollar amount was more than $10,000, according to reports.

When her sentencing day rolls around, Ms. Buccello could be handed a prison term of six months.


Kurt, I'm surprised that are former NP rangers on this blog have not commented on this article...not a peep so far. Although, a pittance of a crime in comparsion in what some of Bushs lackeys have gotten away with. Ms. Bucello will pay for the crime and dwindle in the wind with a ruin reputation. I'm not sure if she looses her 30 year pension. But, there some ex-congressman who have been convicted on a more serious crime and sitting quite pretty with a damn nice pension plan. I guess crime does pay for the smooth talking jaded (a worhtless horse) politician who screws the American taxpayer.

I'm not sure what point is being made by Anonymous.

Is it that poor Mrs. Buccello got the raw end of the stick? Or that some get away with crime and others don't? What is there to say about this fairly straight forward story? She admitted her crimes and will now pay the price. End of story.

If I'm missing something would y'all please let me know?

Beamis, my apology for not being more concise. Since you were a former government employee, would you know if you are allowed to keep your pension (retirement plan) if convicted on grand theft? Seems like, the higher you go up the government ladder (regarding your prestigious status) and if you get caught with your hands in the till, you still get to keep the fat retirement check. Right! In Ms. Buccello case, I said enough to reckon that she is not eligible for rehire. The crime speaks for its self but not the free pension...if she's a felon! I hope my point is clear ranger!

I would have commented sooner, but I've just put in a 55 hour week at my 33 hour a week job.

Six months? In some country club? Sentence her to a season of trail work at Yosemite and make her work off her crime rebuilding America's greatest national park. Maybe then she'll appreciate the error of her ways and see the effects of waste on our national treasures.

I don't know the answer to Anon's question. There seems to be no consistency in NPS punishments for misconduct. I knew a person who lost their pension over a $120 discrepancy in their Maintenance discretionary account but also knew of a departing district ranger who supposedly took six NPS badges as souvenirs and nothing was done about that. It seems to be capricious at best.

Frank and Beamis, crime to fit the punishment...depends who you are. Heard of cases where poor souls get thrown into the slammer (3 years for the first offense) for stealing a six pack of beer. How about being black and crossing the street behind a white women, next thing your accused of rape...later lynched! True case in the deep south! All kinds of discrepancies in crime and punishment...pending on your rank and file in life as a big fish. Maintenance decretionary mistake for $120.00 (likely a honest accounting error) and the guy gets canned...sounds like a set up.

Maintenance discretionary mistake for $120.00 (likely a honest accounting error) and the guy gets canned...sounds like a set up.

To hear the person who was canned tell the story, they believe it was a set-up from the word go. I don't know the other side of the story so I can't say for sure but it did seem strange to me at the time, especially in light of later revelations of misconduct that were literally swept under the rug for people much higher up the career ladder.

So in essence, the opinion you're all expressing is that the NPS system is no different than corporate America or our wonderful governmental corruption. Is that a surprise to anyone? The bigger they are the less they fall. The lower and middle classes comprise well over 99% of the residents of your local jail, but is anyone naive enough to believe they're the only ones responsible for crimes against the American public? Can someone sit there with a straight face and claim that by percentage the wealthy are only 1% of the populace? The wealthy have better access to the upper echelon of shyster lawyers and can afford to pay off a corrupt judicial system. This country's current state of affairs reads suspiciously like France before Lou and Marie went to the chopping block. Anybody care to assist in construction of the scaffold?

Add comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

Recent Forum Comments