Charge dropped against former Weston schools employee accused of stealing gas

An exterior of Weston High School in Weston, Conn. shot Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012.

An exterior of Weston High School in Weston, Conn. shot Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012.

File / Autumn Driscoll / Hearst Connecticut Media

STAMFORD — A larceny charge was dropped against the former transportation coordinator for Weston Public Schools in Superior Court on Thursday, nearly two years after he was first accused of stealing gas from the school district.

Prosecutors dismissed the lone count of second-degree larceny against David Lustberg, 57, after he successfully completed a probation program granted in December 2019.

Attorney Guy Soares, who represented Lustberg, did not respond to requests for comment Thursday after the hearing in Superior Court in Stamford.

Lustberg was one of two Weston school employees arrested in 2019 on charges of allegedly taking fuel from the Board of Education fuel pumps to use in their personal vehicles. Lustberg and Rocco Popoli, a former school grounds foreperson, were accused of using fuel from the school district’s gas pumps for over a year.

According to their arrest warrants, Lustberg took gas on 37 separate occasions, using a total of 356 gallons of fuel worth $711.30. Popoli took gas on nine separate occasions, using a total of 98.9 gallons worth $202.75.

Two months before their arrests, both were fired from the school district. Lustberg was also removed from his role as coach of the Weston High School softball team.

In December 2019, Lustberg was granted accelerated rehabilitation, which State’s Attorney Paul Ferencek said he successfully completed, leading to the dropped charges.

Popoli similarly had charges dropped against him earlier this year.

In February 2020, Lustberg filed a multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit against the Weston Public Schools. The suit names the Weston Board of Education, Superintendent William McKersie, and Human Resources Director Lewis Brey as defendants.

In the lawsuit, Lustberg says he was smeared by McKersie after the superintendent sent an email last spring to families and staff explaining that Lustberg had been fired after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars worth of fuel from the Board of Education fuel pumps for use in his personal vehicles.

The lawsuit is scheduled to move forward on March 1, 2022.