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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

March 16, 2015, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli: Former Treasurer Arrested in Tupper Lake Fire Department Theft  

As Much As $20,000 Stolen For Family Vacations and Expenses

Former Tupper Lake Volunteer Fire Department Treasurer Timothy J. Brown was arrested on grand larceny charges Monday after allegedly stealing up to $20,000 as he spiraled into credit card debt.

"From plane fare to pizza, Mr. Brown used fire department money for his own benefit, even shamelessly pocketing fundraising money," DiNapoli said. "He financed trips to North Carolina and Massachusetts, including the Boston Duck Tour, using volunteer department money. I thank the Tupper Lake Police Chief Eric Proulx, Acting Franklin County District Attorney Glenn MacNeill and Asst. District Attorney David J. Hayes for their diligent work in helping us hold Mr. Brown accountable."

Brown, 53, of Tupper Lake, was charged with grand larceny in the third degree, a Class D felony, and sent to the Franklin County jail in lieu of $5,000 bail. He is due back in Tupper Lake village court on April 13.

"I cannot begin to say how many times I took cash from the fire department," Brown said in a statement given to DiNapoli's Investigators and Chief Proulx.

A 30-year department veteran and treasurer for the last eight years, Brown admitted he took cash and used the department credit card from 2010 to 2013 to pay for personal expenses, including hotel rooms at Candlewood Suites, family trips to North Carolina and a birthday celebration in Boston. He also pocketed more than $3,500 in the summer of 2013 from chicken barbecue and golf tournament fundraisers, according to his statement.

Franklin County Assistant District Attorney David J. Hayes said: "My office will prosecute this case and any others like it to the full extent of the law. It's essential for residents of this county to be able to trust their fire department leaders. I thank Comptroller DiNapoli and his staff for their thorough detection of these missing funds."

Tupper Lake Police Chief Eric Proulx said: "Mr. Brown violated his public duty at a high cost to our village. His arrest serves as a warning to others who may consider similar crimes. I thank State Comptroller DiNapoli for partnering with us in this case."
The Comptroller's office is completing an audit of the missing funds and apparent lack of oversight at the Tupper Lake VFD.

DiNapoli 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 investigations@osc.state.ny.us, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 14th floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.

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