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


DiNapoli: Former Poestenkill Employee Charged With Stealing $3,000 From Town

March 13, 2023

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Rensselaer County District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly and New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli announced the arrest of Michelle Asquith, the former Town of Poestenkill administrative assistant, for allegedly stealing more than $3,000 in town funds over a four-year period.

“The defendant abused her position to treat herself to video rentals, gifts, groceries and spending money,” DiNapoli said. “Those in public service have a duty to ensure taxpayer dollars are not lost to fraud. I thank District Attorney Donnelly and the New York State Police for their partnership in making sure she will be held accountable.”

“Crimes of this nature directly impact citizens of Rensselaer County,” Donnelly said. “This type of crime steals from the taxpayer, and my office is committed to justice for those that have squandered from their neighbors. I am grateful for the assistance of the Office of the State Comptroller and the NYSP for their assistance in this case.”

“This arrest demonstrates the hard work of our members and law enforcement partners focused on the same goal; holding those who break our laws, accountable,” Nigrelli said. “Ms. Asquith used her position with the town to take money from taxpayers for her own personal gain and benefit. May this arrest send a strong message that we will not tolerate such corruption by those who use their position to profit at the expense of their local community.”

Asquith worked as an administrative assistant for the town from 2010 to early 2022.

During a routine audit, DiNapoli’s office found that from March 2017 to September 2021, Asquith used the town’s credit card to make $2,230 in purchases for herself, ranging from video rentals to hair accessories. She also attempted to charge another $1,980 in other unauthorized purchases, including spa services, but the charges were reversed once DiNapoli’s auditors notified the town of an impending audit.

Investigators also found that Asquith falsified over $700 in various claims for reimbursement to pad her paycheck. She claimed mileage reimbursement for trips she never made, claimed a personal reimbursement supported by a receipt where the purchase was made using town funds, and submitted a second claim for an expense that had already been reimbursed by the town.

Asquith was charged Friday with grand larceny, falsifying business records and official misconduct. She was arraigned in Town of Schodack Court and was released on her own recognizance. She is due back in court on April 12.

The charges filed in this case are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.