A.G. Schneiderman & Comptroller DiNapoli Announce Arrest Of Town Supervisor For Stealing Campaign Funds
Coordinated Action Of Federal-State Anti-Corruption Partnership In Albany
ALBANY - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the arrest of Melinda "Mindy" Wormuth, the Town of Halfmoon Supervisor, for stealing more than $6,000 in campaign contributions from her campaign fund.
This case arises out of a cooperative federal-state partnership between the Attorney General, the State Comptroller, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of New York to combat public corruption. This initiative compliments ongoing efforts of the Joint Task Force on Public Integrity launched by Attorney General Schneiderman and Comptroller DiNapoli, which has already resulted in numerous arrests and felony convictions across the state.
"New Yorkers rightly expect that their campaign contributions will go to fund a candidate's run for elected office, not a candidate's lifestyle," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "This arrest demonstrates that federal and state authorities will work together to stamp out corruption at every level and bring those who would abuse the public trust to justice."
"This individual's sense of entitlement resulted in her putting her own best interests above her duty to her constituents," said State Comptroller DiNapoli. "These types of attempts by elected officials to abuse their position will not go unpunished. My office will continue to partner with state and federal authorities to jointly root out public corruption. I want to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Attorney's Office and Attorney General Schneiderman and his staff for their ongoing anti-corruption efforts."
Wormuth is charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, all felonies, and with Petit Larceny, a misdemeanor. All four charges stem from her theft of more than $6,000 from her campaign committee - Friends of Mindy Wormuth - and the filing of a false financial disclosure report with the New York State Board of Elections. Wormuth was arraigned today in Waterford Town Court by Justice Nancy M. Sunukjian, entered a not guilty plea, and was released on her own recognizance. She faces a maximum of seven years in state prison if convicted of the highest charge filed against her.
According to the felony complaint, a joint investigation found that between July 2009 and July 2013, Wormuth cashed seven contribution checks, totaling $6,250, intended for Friends of Mindy Wormuth. She then pocketed the proceeds without reporting the contributions to the committee's treasurer or on the Financial Disclosure Reports that were filed with the State Board of Elections.
The felony complaint relies, in part, on statements that Wormuth made to the FBI, including an admission that she cashed and spent certain checks made payable to her campaign. In one FBI interview, Wormuth attributed some of her actions to her bitterness at not receiving her political party's endorsement for reelection in November 2013.
Since 2007, Wormuth has served as the Supervisor of the Town of Halfmoon in Saratoga County. In that capacity, she heads the Halfmoon Town Board and serves as the town's representative on the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors.
The Attorney General expressed his appreciation to the Office of the New York State Comptroller for its assistance in this investigation.
The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Darren Miller, with the assistance of Investigator Mitch Paurowski, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau Stacy Aronowitz, Bureau Chief William Schaeffer, Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan, the Albany office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of New York.
The charges against Melinda Wormuth are merely accusations, and she is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Anyone with additional information on this matter or any other instances of public corruption is encouraged to contact the Attorney General's Office at (800) 996-4630