New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka, and the New York State Police today announced the arrest of Barbara Henry, the Village of Chatham’s former Clerk-Treasurer, following a joint investigation for unlawfully waiving her own health insurance premiums. This is the second arrest of a village official stemming from the joint investigation.
“Henry was entrusted to protect the village’s funds, instead she allegedly used that position for her personal benefit,” said DiNapoli. “This behavior is unacceptable and now Henry is being held accountable for her actions. I thank District Attorney Paul Czajka and the New York State Police for their partnership and our continuing efforts to root out public corruption.”
Former Village of Chatham Clerk-Treasurer Barbara Henry is charged with tampering with public records in the first degree; two counts of grand larceny in the third degree; offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree and official misconduct for allegedly scamming $4,182 in village health insurance premiums.
Henry was responsible for paying 50 percent of her health insurance while the village was responsible for the other 50 percent. The joint investigation found that from April 2017 to August 2018, Henry used her position to unlawfully waive her own health insurance premiums, causing the village to pay more than $4,000 to fund Henry’s health insurance.
"Columbia County taxpayers have reason to be very grateful for Comptroller DiNapoli's team of investigators, as well as the investigators of the New York State Police, Livingston for their hard work and diligence in resolving this very complicated investigation,” District Attorney Czajka said.
“I commend the State Police investigators, Comptroller’s Office and all of our partners who had a role in exposing this crime,” said New York State Police Acting Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen. “The arrest of this individual sends a strong message that we will not tolerate such corruption and when a public servant seeks to use their position for their own benefit at the expense of the taxpayers. Those who take advantage of their position and community will be held accountable and prosecuted appropriately.”
The investigation also revealed that, during her time as Village Clerk-Treasurer for Chatham, Henry allegedly stole over $8,420.14 from Cadmus Lifesharing Association, a Massachusetts non-profit company that cares for individuals with disabilities, where she held a second job as the Director of the organization.
Henry, 59, of Chatham, was employed by the village from late 2012 until she resigned in August of 2018. She is due back in court on April 28.
The joint investigation previously led to the arrest of Village Chief of Police, Peter Volkmann, who pled guilty to defrauding $74,817 from the New York State and Local Retirement System and stealing $18,792 from the village. Volkmann was required to pay full restitution to the retirement system and the village.
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.