ALBANY, N.Y. - Federal officers say that Halfmoon Town Supervisor Mindy Wormuth turned herself in at the federal courthouse Thursday morning.
Wormuth, 46, was arraigned Wednesday in federal court on charges of making false statements and extortion. On Thursday she was arraigned in Waterford Town Court on charges of Grand Larceny, Offering a False Instrument for Filing, and Petit Larceny. She pleaded not guilty and was released on her own recognizance.
Wormuth is charged with accepting $7,500 in "consultant fees" in return for using her official position as town supervisor on the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors to lobby for the legislation of mixed martial arts. They say she also stole more than $6,000 in campaign contributions from her campaign fund.
Federal officials also say Wormuth falsely stated that she had consulted with a former town justice in Saratoga County, named "K.T.: in the indictment, for advice prior to accepting payments. In reality, she had not consulted w K.T., but instead another attorney who told her she could only work in her spare time, and could not use her office or official acts in exchange for payments.
Wormuth announced to town board members last week that she would be taking a 30-day leave of absence stating that she would be unable to come to work for medical reasons. This decision came after board members asked Wormuth to resign in September amid an FBI investigation involving her.
Chairwoman Regina Parker of the Halfmoon Republican Committee released the following statement:
"The Halfmoon Republican Committee spoke very clearly several months ago when we overwhelmingly voted to support new leadership in town hall. We nominated Kevin Tollisen, a man of impeccable credentials and unquestionable integrity who has spent a lifetime making Halfmoon a better place, because we knew that a change needed to be made. Last month, the Republican members of the town board requested Supervisor Wormuth's resignation in order to allow the town government to better focus on the issues that matter to Halfmoon residents."
Wormuth was officially charged with one count of Interference with Commerce Under Color of Official Right and False Statement. She could face up to a total of 25 years and also be ordered to pay a fine of up to $250,000 on each count if convicted.
Town board members are now sending in a petition to ask for Wormuth's removal.
"We have some very serious issues to deal with in the town mixed martial arts is not on my radar," said board member John Wasielewski.
Board members say the town is now without a leader and they have no representation at the county board level.
"We are looking at every option right now," said board member Craig Hayner.