State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Franklin County District Attorney Craig Carriero and the New York State Police announced that Bridget Brown, former treasurer of the Essex County Agricultural Society (the Society), has been arrested for allegedly stealing more than $60,000 in funds from the organization which operates the Essex County Fair.
The Society is a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage and promote agriculture in young children and adults through the Essex County Fair. Brown worked for the Society from 2013 to 2019 and currently is the Willsboro Fire District Treasurer, as well as the Clerk/Tax Collector for the Town of Willsboro, NY. District Attorney Carriero was appointed Special Prosecutor by the Essex County Court.
“Brown was entrusted to ensure that funds collected from the fair were managed for the benefit of the community. Instead, she allegedly abused her position for her personal benefit and now faces the consequences of her abhorrent actions,” DiNapoli said. “My thanks to Franklin County District Attorney Carriero and the New York State Police for their partnership in fighting public corruption.”
The investigation found that while employed with the Society, Brown over-paid herself, and made unauthorized ATM withdrawals and credit card purchases using the Society’s bank accounts. She also obtained a $20,000 loan on behalf of the organization, which the Society’s Board was unaware of and did not approve. To hide her theft, she allegedly falsified business records.
Brown was arraigned before Judge Richard Carpenter of the Town of Moriah. She is scheduled to appear in court next on October 11th at 10 a.m. at the Town of Westport court.
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 https://www.osc.state.ny.us/investigations, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.