As a result of an audit and investigation by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, the former clerk of the town of Rosendale justice court will make full restitution after admitting to stealing nearly $6,000 in cash from bail collections.
The clerk, Trudy Harper, 40, was arrested in June and charged by Ulster County District Attorney D. Holley Carnright. After pleading guilty earlier this year, she was sentenced in Saugerties Town Court on March 4. Harper was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to pay full restitution. She was also fired from her position as clerk.
“My office continues to work closely with law enforcement to ensure local officials who abuse their position and steal public money will be held accountable for their wrongdoing,” DiNapoli said. “I thank District Attorney Carnright and the State Police for their partnership on this case and helping to recoup this stolen money on behalf of town residents.”
“I appreciate the work Comptroller DiNapoli has done and continues to do for the citizens of Ulster County,” District Attorney Carnright said.
In an audit released last year, DiNapoli’s office found Harper controlled all phases of the court’s cash collection process with little oversight by the two town justices. As a result, she was able to cover up the theft of approximately $5,620. She later attempted to conceal the crime by transferring bail money from one justice’s account to another.
Since 2013, audits and investigations from DiNapoli’s office have resulted in the arrest of more than 80 individuals and the restitution and fines of $15 million.
For a copy of the Comptroller’s audit of the town of Rosendale, visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/towns/2014/rosendalejc.pdf
DiNapoli encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse. New Yorkers can report allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555, by filing a complaint online at [email protected], or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 14th floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.