Fire district wants 46-percent tax levy after embezzlement case - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Fire district wants 46-percent tax levy after embezzlement case


BALLSTON LAKE, N.Y. - The Charlton Volunteer Fire Department is calling for a 46-percent increase to its tax levy, following an embezzlement case.

The department says it's looking to increase its capital reserve accounts, giving the department more money to replace equipment.

However, this comes after its former District Clerk and Treasurer, Virginia DeCapria, embezzled nearly $500,000 within a five year period from the fire district. Some of that money was supposed to go toward the fund which would replace the fire department's equipment.

The Town Supervisor confirms that the tax hike will be included in the town and county tax bills, which will be mailed to district residents in January.

Homeowners News10 ABC spoke with called the tax levy frustrating.

"I understand where they need help because even the fire station is old and they've had it a long time," said homeowner Nancy Malis, "But how to solve this problem I really don't know and if the only way to do it is to have the taxes go up, we may just have to accept that."

Another local homeowner, Connie Hogan said she doesn't think anyone would like to see such a large increase in taxes.

The missing funds were found after an investigation by the State Comptroller's Office.

The district has been able to recover more than half of that money through an insurance settlement and has since said they've changed their accounting practices.

In May 2013, DeCapria was sentenced to three to nine years in State Prison for Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree, and a concurrent state prison term of one to three years for a charge of Tax Fraud 4th-degree.

Following her sentencing, Terry Hannigan read a statement to the court on behalf of the  Charlton Fire District. The statement detailed how the woman's theft affected the volunteers of the Charlton Fire District, the Board of Commissioners and ultimately all the residents and taxpayers.

Check back to News10 ABC for more updates on this story.

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