Audit alleges former Village of Cobleskill clerk padded her pockets with undue pay

Schoharie County

COBLESKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New mayor Rebecca Stanton-Terk was on the Village of Cobleskill Board of Trustees back in 2017 when they decided the then Clerk and Treasurer needed to go. An audit by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s office released Thursday determined Samantha Moyster misused the funds she was in charge of.

“Well I’m not going to lie, I was angry,” Mayor Stanton-Terk admits. “She was in a position of authority, and we trusted her and she, as a department head, had to and should have set a better example.”

The audit alleges Moyster skewed the employee calendar she was in charge of to give herself more than $5,000 of paid leave, $1,300 of unearned work time, and gave herself and her husband a $2,000 health insurance buyout they didn’t earn. In total — just under $9000.

A figure included in the New York State Comptroller’s municipal government audit of the Village of Cobleskill.

“It may not seem like a lot of money in the big picture, but it is and every tax dollar is important and every taxpayer is important,” Mayor Stanton-Terk explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.

The audit also says Moyster didn’t keep all the receipts and records necessary to stay on top of all the village’s finances.

View the full Village of Cobleskill audit here.

Mayor Stanton-Terk says at the time, she was shocked at the level of oversight. The audit adds former mayor Linda Holmes knew about the errors, but let them go on.

“It’s unfortunate that the previous mayor did withhold information intentionally from the board and also from the public,” Stanton-Terk says.

The comptroller’s office suggested training and record keeping practices to clean up as much of the errors as possible — including the option to have Moyster pay back every penny she wasn’t owed.

“We are definitely looking into that. We have a board meeting coming up. It’s going to be a board decision, so we need to talk,” Stanton-Terk assures. “This [audit] is a good start and we’re looking forward to the road ahead with full transparency in this office in the future.”

The NYS Comptroller’s Office also forwarded the matter over to the Schoharie County District Attorney’s Office to see if there will be any legal repercussions. NEWS10 reached out to the district attorney, who says she just doesn’t have a comment at this time.

We also reached out to Moyster and Holmes for their comment on the alleged wrongdoings. So far, they have not returned phone calls.

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