Although the Town of Washington and the State Police still maintain a strict policy of no comment on the story that first appeared in the Poughkeepsie Journal about misappropriation of funds from the town, we have been able to piece together what appears to be the incriminating evidence. It is contained on two pages of the town’s accounting statements for its payroll account. Two entries specify payments made to Sallie Mae for “Hurley” in 2014. One is for $1,513.45. The other is for $250. The total is $1,763.45. These statements were made public pursuant to a FOIL.
We spoke with the District Attorney’s office and were told that they have not been given evidence by the State Police who are conducting the investigation. The State Policy would not reveal any information other than to say that an investigation is pending.
When or if a criminal complaint, or indictment, is filed, it would specify the amount that is at issue.
For a misappropriation of funds to be criminal, there must be criminal intent. Since the funds reported missing are clearly marked, it might suggest negligence rather than criminal intent.
Because the investigation is ongoing, we do not know if other instances of misallocation or misappropriation of funds will be found. We can only say that on the basis of what has been made public to date, there is not much that is at issue. Ms Hurley’s lawyer told us she offered to restore those funds to the town. The town declined to accept the offer.
The accounting for the year 2015 has been completed and is available for inspection at the Town Hall. It makes no mention of missing funds or of any impropriety for that year.