Audit: Treasurer Hosed Fire Department

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The former treasurer of Woodstock Fire Company No. 3 embezzled more than $200,000 over a five-year period, an audit today by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli alleged.

Dale D. Hughes, Jr., 64, was charged with grand larceny in the second degree in Ulster County, DiNapoli said in a statement. He was remanded to the Ulster County Jail.

The audit and investigation by prosecutors alleged that Hughes endorsed 83 checks totaling $200,385 that were made payable to cash, which he put into his own bank account. He also pocketed about $21,000 from pancake breakfast fundraisers, officials said, and then Hughes tried to cover his tracks by altering the books.

“The fire company handed the fiscal reins to this individual and he responded by fleecing the public,” DiNapoli said. “The lack of basic financial oversight allowed this fraud to continue unabated for five years.”

Said Ulster County DA D. Holley Carnright: “This is yet another example of good government at work been available to conduct this audit, it would have cost the taxpayers of Ulster County thousands of dollars to hire a forensic accounting firm.”

Hughes was the firehouse’s treasurer from 1997 to 2011.

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