Comptroller: Ex-Old Field auditor paid for divorce with village funds
A former treasurer for Old Field was arrested Wednesday for stealing more than $50,000 from village coffers to pay for divorce fees, cigarettes and other personal items, state and county officials said.
During an audit of the village's finances, state investigators discovered that Andrea Brosnan, 42, of Port Jefferson, had written village checks to herself and used village credit cards for personal purchases and divorce lawyer fees, said Brian Butry, spokesman for the state comptroller.
"There were items she was buying on eBay and Amazon.com, and other purchases going undetected because she was the one controlling the finances," Butry said. "She did a good job of trying to cover her tracks."
There was also evidence that she had used village funds to pay for her 2012 split from her husband, Butry said. "The craziest thing to me, you're using village funds to pay for your divorce," he said.
Brosnan pleaded not guilty Wednesday in district court to second-degree grand larceny, first-degree falsifying business records, defrauding the government, and official misconduct. She was released on her own recognizance, according to the office of Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota.
Calls to Brosnan were not answered.
Village Mayor Michael Levine appointed Brosnan treasurer in January 2009 after she served as deputy clerk in 2008. According to Spota, the thefts began "almost immediately" after she was appointed and continued until March 2012, according to court papers.
"Brosnan began taking money by making payments from the village account to pay her personal credit cards, utility bills and cellphone bills," Spota said in a news release. "She falsified entries in the village ledger to make the entries appear to be legitimate. There is also evidence Ms. Brosnan secured, without authorization, village gas card accounts to purchase fuel for her own vehicle, and to buy cigarettes, food, and beverages."
By last fall, Brosnan was no longer village treasurer, according to village records.
Old Field, which was named the 35th "Most Expensive Small Town In America" in 2010 by BusinessWeek magazine, has a yearly budget of about $1 million. The comptroller's audit, which started in September, will be released in the next few weeks, Butry said.
Calls to Levine were not immediately returned Wednesday.