Embezzler repays town some of what’s owed

KINDERHOOK–The Town Board learned last week that the town has received just under $50,000 in reimbursement from Pegeen Mulligan-Moore for money she embezzled over several years working in the town office for the former supervisor.

“We are getting closer,” said Supervisor Pat Grattan, who added that the town is still owed over $100,000 by Ms. Mulligan-Moore.

Mr. Grattan, who was not in office when the embezzlement took place, has promised that he will get the money paid back.

Also at last week’s Town Board meeting, the board decided to publish a request for proposal (RFP) for town engineer. Mr. Grattan said he was opposed to looking for a new engineer because he’s happy with the work done by Pat Prendergast, the current engineer.

Mr. Grattan said the town paid Mr. Prendergast $10,000 last year for his services and that he attended every Planning Board meeting. Mr. Prendergast was at the Town Board meeting for this discussion.

“I don’t think we are going to get as good service for the economical price we get,” Mr. Grattan said of Mr. Prendergast.

The three board members who voted in support of the RFP all said it had nothing to do with Mr. Prendergast’s work for the town. “It’s fair and right that we send it out for public review,” said board member Glenn Smith.

“We can say this is what’s out there and this is what we have,” said new board member Deborah Simonsmeier of advertising for the position. And Tim Ooms, also new on the board,  praised Mr. Prendergast. Mr. Ooms said the members were doing what was in the best interests of the people the board represents, which involves looking at other possibilities and costs for the work.

Mr. Prendergast said he has worked with the town for 10 years and asked whether he would need to submit application for the position. Mr. Grattan, who voted again publishing the RFP–board member Pasty Leader abstained–said that Mr. Prendergast would have to apply.

In other business, the town’s codes will now be online at ecode360, a website at www.generalcode.com that is used by other towns, including New Lebanon, to publish their laws and regulations. The codes are easily searchable on the website and former board member Peter Bujanow said that eventually sections can be cut and pasted into building and zoning applications, which will also be online.

“We are working on some big changes,” he told the board of a new website he hopes to launch soon for the town.

Mr. Grattan ended the meeting with a remembrance of two town residents who died this month. Edward Habeck, Sr., 87, who died on February 4, was dedicated to issues in the community, said Mr. Grattan, who added that Mr. Habeck had owned the Toyota dealership and “employed lots of people in this town.”

He also remembered Lillian Roginski, the village tax collector. “She was part of the fabric of this community,” he said. Ms. Roginski died on February 5 at the age of 82.

The board appointed Deidre Curtis as tax collector at a special meeting last week.

The next Town Board meeting will be Monday, March 12 at 7 p.m. at the town hall in Niverville. The board is hosting a joint neighborhood watch meeting with the Village of Valatie Thursday, February 23 at 7 p.m. at Barnwell Nursing home.

 

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