A.G. Schneiderman Announces Sentencing Of Former North Country Town Clerk For Stealing Public Money
Attorney General’s Public Integrity Investigation Ends With Sentencing Of Public Official
Schneiderman: Public Officials Can't Get Away With Using Their Positions To Steal From Taxpayer
WATERTOWN - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the sentencing of Jeri Mason, a former Town Clerk for Cape Vincent, who was convicted of stealing nearly $30,000 from the town. In October 2011, Mason pleaded guilty to Defrauding the Government (a class E felony) and Official Misconduct.
Earlier today, in Jefferson County Court, the Honorable Judge Kim Martusewicz sentenced Mason to five years probation. Mason's probation and non-incarceration had been contingent upon her paying back the full amount of the theft. The judge informed Mason that he may be inclined to give her a sentence without jail time if Mason were to pay full restitution. Mason has paid the town of Cape Vincent $29,872.
"Ms. Mason abused the privilege of serving in public office and now must pay back the people she fleeced," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "As a result of our public integrity investigation, she is being held accountable for the crime of using her position to steal money from taxpayers. My office will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute such cases to ensure there is one set of rules for everyone in this state."
From April 2009 to September 2010, Jeri Mason engaged in a fraudulent scheme that involved falsely representing the amount of revenue the Town was collecting Mason conducted this scheme while acting in her capacity as the Town Clerk, an elected position. Mason falsified monthly reports that reflected the amount of money she collected for the Town. The investigation began after it was revealed that Mason stole money that should have been remitted to the Town.
Today's action highlights one of the public integrity initiatives Attorney General Schneiderman launched last year. The effort includes a crackdown on public officials who use taxpayer funds for their own benefit, and is part of the Attorney General’s sweeping efforts to root out waste, fraud and corruption at all levels of government. As part of that effort the Attorney General placed public integrity officers in all thirteen of his regional offices around the state. Public integrity officers serve as local "watch dogs," and give citizens a place to go to report corruption without fear that local politics will influence the outcome.
The Attorney General thanked the New York State Police for its cooperation in this investigation.
The case is being handled by Colleen M. Glavin, Assistant Attorney General and Public Integrity Officer, under the supervision of Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Nancy Hoppock, Public Integrity Bureau Chief William E. Schaeffer and Deputy Chief Stacy Aronowitz. Investigator Scott Petucci under Supervising Investigator Antoine Karam assisted with the investigation of the case.
Anyone with information on public corruption is encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s office at (315) 785-2444.