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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Former Corning city clerk to plead guilty in grand larceny case

  • A former Corning city clerk accused of stealing more than $5,000 from the city will plead guilty to the charges when she appears in court today, her attorney said Wednesday.
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  • A former Corning city clerk accused of stealing more than $5,000 from the city will plead guilty to the charges when she appears in court today, her attorney said Wednesday.
    Stephanie Burlew, 33, of Corning, was charged with third-degree grand larceny, a Class D felony, after an investigation into money missing from the finance department, where she worked as a senior account clerk.
    Burlew will waive her right to grand jury proceedings and enter a guilty plea before Judge Peter Bradstreet in Steuben County Court, said her attorney, Terrence Baxter of the David H. Jacobs Law Office in Corning.
    She will receive probation and be required to make restitution, Baxter said.
    City officials launched an investigation and requested an audit in August 2013 after discrepancies were uncovered.
    According to a report released Wednesday by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, the audit discovered that over a three-month period Burlew allegedly stole $5,064 in parking permit, code enforcement, parking summons and water and sewer fees - as well as utility receipts - by pocketing cash without recording all of the transactions.
    That included code enforcement fees for 11 building permits totaling $1,203 and 18 parking permits totaling $1,850, the report said.
    “This individual had keys to the cash register and helped herself. It’s unfortunate that we continue to uncover instances of public officials abusing the trust of their communities, but this is another example of our office working with local officials to hold those that abuse the public’s money accountable,” DiNapoli said Wednesday.
    Another $6,318 – including $5,085 in parking ticket fines – is also unaccounted for, the audit report said.
    However, Burlew is only charged with stealing $5,064, Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker said Wednesday.
    “That amount is what we are confident we could prove beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.
    Burlew was employed by the city from August 2012 until Oct. 25, 2013. Finance Director Linn Smith noticed discrepancies when Burlew was out on leave, and law enforcement was notified on Nov. 6, 2013, City Manager Mark Ryckman said at a press conference in July.
    Burlew never returned to work after she left on leave and suspicions arose, Ryckman said in July.

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