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Joyce Endee

Dalton Town Clerk Sandy York charged with taking $100 or more from town

From town website Dalton Town Clerk Sandy York has been arrested for allegedly stealing $100 in town funds.
October 03, 2012
DALTON — Sandra "Sandy" York, a 64-year-old widow who has served as this small Town's Clerk for over 30 years, was arrested on Sept. 24 by Dalton Police Chief Mario Audit accompanied by State Police Trooper Chris Ball on a Misdemeanor A charge of theft by unauthorized taking of $100 or more from the town.

She will be arraigned at 8 a.m. on Oct. 29 in the First Circuit Court in Lancaster and is free on $2,000 personal recognizance.

Chief Audit signed a statement alleging that York can be seen on a closed circuit surveillance tape that was recorded at 4:51 p.m. on Aug. 9 allegedly taking $100 cash from the Town of Dalton's deposit slip — the end of the day cashing out — and then placing these monies in her purse "with the purpose of depriving the town of Dalton."

York has been ordered not to have contact with any other town officer by mail, telephone, or otherwise or to be within 100 yards of such a person and also not to go on municipal property owned by or controlled by the town.

Chief Audit said in a Sunday evening phone interview that the town municipal offices had been plagued with security issues, including unsecured doors, and that he had been keeping a close eye on surveillance tapes and had also reduced the number of authorized keys to six.

When asked why it had taken so long to arrest the alleged thief, the chief said that there is still an ongoing investigation.

After York's arrest, the three members of the Dalton board of selectmen — chairman Victor St. Cyr, Kevin Whittum Sr., and Julie Simonds — issued a press release that said they were "saddened to learn of the criminal charge brought against the Town Clerk as it relates to her duties with that elected position" but that they would not comment further "in order to preserve the integrity of the legal system as well as the rights of the accused."

They assured the citizenry that the board remains committed to upholding their fiduciary duties and accounting for all town monies.

Tension has apparently had been growing over the summer between employees in the town's municipal building and the select board. In the board's Aug. 20 minutes, Sharon Tupper questioned why board member Whittum had told people at a Dunkin' Donuts that the select board "would be doing a clean sweep of employees at Town Hall."

Whittum explained that that had just been a teasing conversation.

According to the July 30 minutes: "(Tax Collector) Jessie Wentworth, (Treasurer) Sharon Tupper and (Town Clerk) Sandy York addressed the Board about how they are not being treated politely or shown any respect and spoken down to. Requests for information are more like demands." The selectmen voted to take this matter under advisement.

Former Dalton Police Chief and Deputy Sheriff John Tholl of Whitefield, who serves as a Republican state representative and is retired from the State Police, said in a Monday afternoon interview that he was very surprised to learn that York had been charged with a crime. Tholl recalled that when he was serving as the town's police chief, York would sometimes ask him to take $100 of town receipts in large bills and then return that sum in smaller bills so that she could make change when necessary.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
Varney Smith
Garnett HIll
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