PUBLIC FUNDS: Even small thefts leave black eye

It is one more violation of trust after the theft of public money, albeit small, from a local government agency.

Debra Kelley, the former assistant treasurer of the Chautauqua County Water and Soil District, was charged with petit larceny after the state comptroller’s office discovered a gap between cash fees collected and the amount deposited in the bank over a six-year period. The Portland woman resigned after 26 years of county employment and agreed to pay back the $4,100 in restitution.

At least the amount of money taken was small and will be paid back, but it is disappointing nonetheless.