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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

May 28, 2015, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

DiNapoli: Former Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Felony in Theft of More Than $5,000 in Fire District Funds

The former treasurer for Pulteney Fire District No. 2 pleaded guilty today to stealing more than $5,000 in public funds, after an audit and investigation by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli revealed that she falsified vouchers and paid herself an additional, illegal salary.

Lisa Stone, 45, of Hammondsport, pleaded guilty today to grand larceny in the third degree (a class D felony) in front of Steuben County Court Judge Marianne Furfure based on DiNapoli’s examination and partnership with Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker and the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office.

Stone confessed to DiNapoli’s staff and the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department that she wrote herself extra salary checks and made personal purchases using district funds.

“Too many fire districts fall prey to those who abuse public money for personal gain,” DiNapoli said. “Such crimes can be deterred by proper oversight. The first line of defense is checks and balances, even in the smallest of departments. We will continue to partner with law enforcement to hold accountable those who violate the public trust. I thank Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker and the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office for their work on this case.”

The Comptroller’s audit found that from 2009 to 2014, fire district money was not properly safeguarded, allowing Stone to steal $9,224. She wrote herself extra salary checks, paid for personal items and bought tools for use in her husband’s business.

As treasurer, Stone was the chief fiscal officer responsible for district funds. She is due back in court on July 23 for sentencing.

DiNapoli made several recommendations to the district, including:
· Seek reimbursement from Stone for the misappropriated funds;
· Adopt detailed policies for investment, procurement and financial oversight;
· Contract for an annual audit of the treasurer’s records; and
· Establish a policy for maintaining, storing, securing and safeguarding district records.

District officials agreed with the audit findings and have begun to implement many of the Comptroller’s recommendations. Their response is included in the final audit report, which can be viewed here:
http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/firedists/2015/pulteneyno2.pdf.


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 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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