MAYFIELD — Dorothy Hart, former Mayfield town clerk, on Wednesday was sentenced in Fulton County Court to 250 hours of community service, plus she had to pay back $35,000 in property tax payments and dog license fees she stole over a four-year period.
Hart, 64, was sentenced by County Court Judge Polly Hoye after pleading guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny, a class E felony. She stole more than $27,000 in property taxes and $8,000 of dog licensing and other fees between 2011 and 2015, and then covered up the crimes by submitting false monthly reports to the town supervisor.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli issued a news release Wednesday detailing the sentence.”This should serve as a warning to those who would blur the line between their public duty and personal gain,” DiNapoli said. The state Comptroller’s Office, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and state police worked on the case.
The maximum penalty for fourth-degree grand larceny is four years in state prison, but guilty pleas typically reduce penalties. The felony conviction makes Hart ineligible to run for public office in the future.
Hart resigned her elected office as town clerk in 2017. She was replaced by current Town Clerk Nancy Parker.
District Attorney Chad Brown said he is uncertain whether the felony conviction will have any effect on Hart’s state pension, if she was ever eligible for one. He said Hart paid back all of the $35,000 stolen from the town of Mayfield prior to her sentencing Wednesday.
Hart was not the only elected Mayfield official charged with a crime in 2018. On April 19, 2018, state police arrested Highway Superintendent Melvin Dopp on misdemeanor counts of official misconduct and theft of services.
Dopp had been accused of using town employees and equipment on town time to haul about 10 tons of town-owned stone to his personal driveway.
Dopp was sentenced for theft of services in May and given a one-year conditional discharge, 150 hours of community service and was required to repay $700 to the town.
Dopp remains in office until the end of the year. He was defeated in the Republican Party primary in June by Jeffery Martin Jr. (491 to 271). Martin is running against Democrat Robert A. Carter Jr. on the Nov. 5 ballot.
At the time of the two arrests Town Supervisor Richard Argotsinger said the Town Board has no oversight over the elected clerk and elected highway superintendent. He said the only way to change that would be through a town referendum.
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