January 31, 2020
Statement From The State Comptrollers Office:
The former Executive Director of Hornell Partners for Growth (HPG) was charged with Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree and Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree for allegedly stealing $1,711 in cash from the HPG’s Annual Fourth of July festival and earmarked for the city’s Business Improvement District, according to New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, the New York State Police and Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker.
Michelle “Shelly” Stevens is also accused of falsifying business records by claiming that she distributed additional festival cash to local charities, but depositing at least $1,711 into her personal bank account. Stevens worked at HPG from 2014 to 2018, and is the Almond town clerk in Allegany County.
“Too often, my office’s investigators and auditors find officials who treat community funds as a personal piggybank,” DiNapoli said. “Thanks to my partnership with Steuben County D.A. Baker and the State Police we will continue to hold accountable those who misuse or abuse the public trust.”
Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has committed to fighting public corruption and encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse. New Yorkers can report allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555, by filing a complaint online at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.