The former town clerk of the town of Alexandria was arrested today for grand larceny related to the missing $36,742 in public funds and allegedly pocketing cash paid by residents for fines, fees and surcharges, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
Ellen S. Peck, 64, of Alexandria Bay, was charged with grand larceny in the third degree in Clayton Town Court. Her misdeeds were uncovered in an audit and investigation by DiNapoli’s office at the town’s request, in partnership with the New York State Police. The audit and investigation revealed that after Ms. Peck retired she put $20,000 in town funds back into the town’s bank accounts.
“Ms. Peck marred a 36-year career as a public servant by allegedly pocketing fees paid by her neighbors,” DiNapoli said. “Hopefully, her arrest will deter others from such corruption. I thank the State Police for their work on this case.”
DiNapoli’s office is currently auditing the town’s finances.
The investigation and audit found that Peck, who collected funds for both the town of Alexandria and the village of Alexandria Bay, allegedly pocketed cash for transfer station fees, arena fees, real property surcharges and clerk fees before retiring in 2014.
Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has committed to fighting public corruption and 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. Review prior cases at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/investigations/index.htm.