Lorraine Lopez, ex-Yonkers mayoral aide, gets probation in turkey fund theft
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A former Yonkers mayoral aide avoided jail time Tuesday for stealing thousands of dollars in donations for the poor during the city's annual Thanksgiving charity drive.
Lorraine Lopez, 45, of Yonkers, faced a maximum sentence of 2 1/3 to 7 years behind bars for third-degree grand larceny, the crime to which she pleaded guilty in June.
Lopez admitted she took more than $5,600 in donations to the drive when she worked as an aide under former Yonkers Mayor Philip A. Amicone.
Lopez, who no longer works for the city, could not be reached for comment after her sentencing this morning in White Plains by Westchester County Court Judge Barbara Zambelli.
Her court-appointed lawyer could not be reached for comment.
It's not clear what Lopez, a former city council member, did with the $5,600 in checks that were donated for the Thanksgiving drive -- an annual city undertaking to provide holiday meals to the poor and indigent.
Nearly $7,000 in donations were received from corporations and businesses around the city -- the bulk of the funds coming from contracting firm Yonkers Contracting.
The theft was discovered in January after Yonkers Contracting contacted the mayor's office to inquire about the drive's success, Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said.
City workers in the administration of the new mayor, Michael Spano, could not find records for the disbursement of more than $5,600 in donations.
The Yonkers Office of Inspector General investigated the matter and turned its findings over to county prosecutors. Lopez was arrested by Yonkers police April 1.
"It is this kind of conduct that erodes the public's trust and confidence in our government," DiFiore said at the time of Lopez's indictment on April 19.
Lopez has already paid back the $5,628 she stole.