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Former Potter town clerk who stole $27K will spend 6 months in jail

The former town clerk in Potter will spend six months in county jail after stealing nearly $27,000 in public funds for personal use, according to officials.

Julie Brown, who previously served as Potter Town Clerk, was sentenced for her thefts, which were investigated by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Yates County District Attorney Todd Casella, and Yates County Sheriff Ronald Spike.

The Penn Yan resident stole cash payments made to the town of Potter for property taxes and fees for marriage licenses, hunting permits and even building permits.

The thefts took place between January 1, 2018, and May 21, 2019 when she resigned. She agreed to pay $26,729 in restitution and has already repaid $20,000.

“When a public servant steals taxpayer funds, it damages the public’s trust in government,” DiNapoli said. “Ms. Brown took advantage of the trust placed in her and now has been held responsible for her crimes. My thanks to Yates County District Attorney Casella and Sheriff Spike for partnering to bring Brown to justice.”

“A public office is a public trust and regrettably this town clerk acted contrary to their oath,” said Yates County Sheriff Spike. “I thank all involved in this criminal investigation, prosecution, and conviction, especially the New York State Comptroller’s office for their forensic work.”

Brown pled guilty in March to corrupting the government in the second degree (class C felony); grand larceny in the third degree as a public servant (class C Felony); two counts of tampering with public records in the first degree (class D felony); scheme to defraud in the first degree (class E felony) and official misconduct (class A misdemeanor). Brown was initially arrested in November 2020 and released on her own recognizance.