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


DiNapoli: Former Potter Town Clerk Arrested for Theft of Nearly $24,000

November 23, 2020

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Yates County District Attorney Todd Casella, and Yates County Sherriff Ronald Spike announced the arrest of Julie Brown, former clerk of the Town of Potter.

Brown, 49, was arrested Friday for allegedly stealing nearly $24,000 in cash payments to the town. The thefts allegedly took place between January 1, 2018, and May 21, 2019.

“Ms. Brown violated the trust of her community by allegedly diverting nearly $24,000 in town funds to subsidize her personal lifestyle,” said State Comptroller DiNapoli. “Thanks to our partnership with Yates County District Attorney Casella and Sheriff Spike, Brown’s actions were exposed and she is now being held accountable for her abuse of taxpayer funds.”

“Yates County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division appreciates the professional assistance of the State Comptroller’s Office in this criminal investigation that has been ongoing since 2019 for embezzlement,” said Yates County Sheriff Spike. “A public office is a public trust, and when an official allegedly violates their oath of office for personal gain they must be brought to justice.”

Brown, of Middlesex, allegedly stole cash payments made to the town for property taxes and fees for marriage licenses, dog licenses, hunting permits, and building permits. She was employed by the town from January 1, 2018, until May 21, 2019, when she resigned.

Brown was charged with corrupting the government in the second degree (class C felony); grand larceny in the third degree/public servant (class C Felony); two counts of tampering with public records in the first degree (class D felony); scheme to defraud in the first degree (class E felony); and official misconduct (class A misdemeanor). Brown was arraigned today in Yates County Court and was released on her own recognizance. She is due back in court on February 2, 2021.

The arrest was a result of a joint investigation between the State Comptroller’s Office, the Yates County District Attorney’s Office and the Yates County Sherriff’s Office.

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, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.