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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015


DiNapoli: Cohocton Town Clerk Pleads Guilty In $36,000 Theft

December 22, 2014

Former Cohocton Town Clerk Sandra Riley pleaded guilty Steuben County Court Monday to stealing $36,000 in dog license and building permit fees after an audit and investigation by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s office revealed the theft of public funds.

Riley, 51, pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the third degree, a Class D felony, before Judge Peter Bradstreet. Riley also admitted taking tax penalty payments and other cash for six years. Sentencing is scheduled for March 2. Riley is expected to be sentenced to jail time, probation and payment of restitution in full.

“For six years, Ms. Riley treated the public’s money as her personal bank account and altered town records to conceal her crimes,” DiNapoli said. “Thanks to our partnership with Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker and the New York State Police, we were able to bring this public official to justice.”

“Abuse of the public trust by those, like the defendant, upon whom we depend to do the right thing, is always difficult to understand and prosecute,” District Attorney Baker said. “Here, cooperation between town officials, the New York State Police, the Comptroller’s office and our office brought the wrong to an end and should serve as warning to others that this type of conduct will not go unnoticed or unpunished.”

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.