AMSTERDAM — The longtime president of the Amsterdam Youth Baseball League was arrested Friday on charges of stealing money from the league.
Paul Antonelli, 56, of Amsterdam was arrested Friday by Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies.
Sheriff Jeff Smith said Antonelli was charged with third-degree grand larceny, which is a charge for an alleged theft of “more than $3,000.”
“We’re not going to get into exact amounts yet,” Smith said. “Throughout the investigation it appears [the theft was of] cash that was deposited from fundraisers throughout the league like concession stands, that kind of thing.”
In addition to his position as president of the youth baseball league, Antonelli was the longtime sports editor for The Recorder before he recently worked for The Daily Gazette, which took ownership of The Recorder in January.
Antonelli was arraigned Friday before City Court Judge Lisa Lorman via the video communication computer program called Skype. Using a legal process put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, Antonelli was able to be arraigned virtually, without ever having to leave the sheriff’s office. After the arraignment, he was released and scheduled to re-appear in Amsterdam City Court at a later date.
Bryan Clute, treasurer for the Amsterdam Youth Baseball League, said he has been advised by legal counsel not to comment on Antonelli’s arrest, or any further details about the case. He said he also wouldn’t comment on whether the organization has elected a new president.
“There’s really nothing to gain by commenting on it. I’m sure everything will come out in the charges,” he said.
In an interview in March, Clute said he had been reviewing his organization’s financial books to prepare for the 2020 season when he discovered what he believed were some “financial discrepancies.” He then filed a complaint with authorities.
“Based off of the records I pulled it looked like we have lost a significant amount of money over the past two years,” Clute said in March. “I’d set [a count of] that money anywhere between $25,000 and $47,000 between the two years. There are some discrepancies because not all of the records were turned over to me to do my research.”
Clute said in March that he believed the alleged missing money is related to cash deposits from the league’s concession stand that didn’t make it into the organization’s bank account.
He said he filed a formal complaint with the Amsterdam Police Department, who then turned the matter over to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department because the league plays its games in the town of Amsterdam at Isabel’s Field.
Antonelli could not be reached for comment Friday.