HALFMOON — Former Halfmoon town supervisor Melinda “Mindy” Shepard Wormuth, who left office in disgrace in 2013, has died at age 53.
The Saratoga County Republican Committee and Halfmoon Republican Committee each posted Facebook messages about her death on Sunday. No cause of death was announced.
“We are saddened to learn of the passing of former town of Halfmoon Supervisor Mindy Wormuth. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and loved ones during this most difficult time,” the county Republican Committee posted.
The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors held a moment of silence in her honor during its teleconference meeting on Tuesday. One supervisor praised her friendly disposition, kindness and generosity, as well as dedication to her job and her family. She and her former husband had two sons.
“Mindy was a friend to all,” said Saratoga Town Supervisor Thomas N. Wood III, who served with her on the Board of Supervisors. “She deeply loved and was dedicated to her children and grandchild. She loved animals, and it was under her supervision that the new county animal shelter was built.”
Wormuth was chairperson of the county Public Safety Committee, which oversees the animal shelter, at the time the current shelter in Milton was built in 2010.
Wormuth served three two-year terms as supervisor of Saratoga County’s second-largest town from 2007 until 2013, when she resigned while under investigation for misuse of campaign funds and accepting money in exchange for performing an official act.
In August 2015, Wormuth pleaded guilty in federal court in Albany to one count each of extortion and making false statements, admitted to writing letters in her official capacity in support of mixed martial arts legalization and receiving money in exchange.
She admitted to sending letters on official town letterhead to several state legislators in support of legalizing MMA. She received $5,500 in what was termed “consulting fees” but actually was disguised illegal payments, according to her plea agreement.
Earlier in 2013, Wormuth has lost the Republican Party endorsement for supervisor to Kevin Tollisen, who was elected that fall and remains the Halfmoon town supervisor.
Wormuth was sentenced in December 2015 to a year and one day in federal prison, and served 10 months. She was released from prison in December 2016, after having surrendered to start her sentence in late January.
Wormuth also pleaded guilty in Saratoga County Court in 2015 to fourth-degree grand larceny for stealing campaign funds — a series of checks from local land developer Bruce Tanski that she cashed without reporting them. She told investigators she took the money because she was bitter about losing the Republican establishment’s support, which happened as rumors of an investigation swirled. Her 10-month sentence in that case was served concurrently with her federal sentence.