Attorney General James Announces Guilty Plea of Town Supervisor Who Stole Nearly $11,000 from Cayuga County Town

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James and State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the guilty plea of former Throop Town Supervisor William Tarby for stealing close to $11,000 from the town. Over a two-year period from January 2017 to December 2019, Tarby used various methods to pocket funds from the town’s finances. Tarby pleaded guilty today to Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree and Official Misconduct. As part of his plea agreement, he will be ordered to pay full restitution and will be barred from seeking public office again. 

“Elected officials who use their authority to enrich themselves are not only violating the law, they’re violating the basic trust that New Yorkers put in them,” said Attorney General James. “William Tarby stole from the people he was elected to serve, and today we are making him pay. I want to thank Comptroller DiNapoli and our partners in law enforcement for their diligent work to hold Mr. Tarby accountable.” 

“William Tarby exploited his position with the town to pay off personal debts and make home improvements,” said State Comptroller DiNapoli. “Thanks to the work of my office, his crimes were uncovered, and he is being held accountable. I’d like to thank Attorney General James and the New York State Police for their work in partnering with us to bring him to justice.”

Tarby served as the Town Supervisor of Throop from 2004 to 2019. In 2020, the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) commenced an audit of the town, which found financial irregularities. A subsequent OSC investigation found that from January 2017 to December 2019, Tarby pocketed close to $11,000 from the town. Investigators determined Tarby made unauthorized cash withdrawals from town bank accounts, took cash back on checks made out to the town, and kept for himself cash paid to the town for scrap metal, fines, and the sale of equipment, among other things. 

As supervisor, Tarby controlled all aspects of the town’s finances and therefore was able to conceal his theft from the town board. He was the only town employee with access to certain town accounts and was the only town employee who made cash withdrawals from those accounts. 

Following the audit and investigation, OSC referred the case to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) for criminal prosecution. Tarby pleaded guilty today in Cayuga County Court before Cayuga County Court Judge Thomas G. Leone, to Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree (a class E Felony) and Official Misconduct (a class A misdemeanor). 

This matter was handled for OAG by Assistant Attorney General Mary Gorman of the Public Integrity Bureau, under the supervision of Public Integrity Bureau Chief Gerard Murphy and Deputy Bureau Chief Kiran Heer, with assistance by Legal Support Analyst Joseph Conniff. Also assisting on this matter from OAG were Detective Supervisor Peter Fitzgerald and Detective David Buske of the Major Investigations Unit. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Investigator Oliver Pu-Folkes. The Investigations Bureau and the Public Integrity Bureau are part of the Division for Criminal Justice, which is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General José Maldonado and overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy. 

The Comptroller’s examination was handled by his Division of Investigations and Division of Local Government and School Accountability.