Thursday, January 17, 2013

Amount of Eldred embezzlement still a mystery in New York

None of the missing funds with which former Eldred Central School District Business Administrator William Thornton allegedly absconded has been recovered to date. Superintendent Robert Dufour’s only reference to the matter at the school board meeting on January 10 was that he was grateful to the New York State Police for all that they did in bringing out the improprieties alleged against the embattled Thornton.
“In Eldred, it’s the state police that handle a matter of this kind,” said Doug Reiser, school board president.
Taxpayers can expect to pay $6,000 for an audit into just how much money may have been pilfered by Thornton.
Thornton, whose salary topped $86,000, or 73% higher than the state average, resigned in November for alleged financial improprieties. He has served in the position since July 2010, but held various other positions within the school district in an approximate tenure of 10 years.
The board did break for executive session to discuss legal matters, but because of the nature of executive sessions it was unclear if the Thornton case was at issue.
On the superintendent’s webpage on the school’s internet site, Dufour said that the dollar amount of missing funds would be determined by the January 10 board meeting, but Reiser said on January 11, “That’s still not a matter of public knowledge.”
“The missing money damages the district,” Reiser told The River Reporter, “but the job of the board is to address the educational needs of the students,” he said.
Thornton could not be reached for comment.

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