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Acting village clerk suspended

Police investigate allegations Paad took tax money, but then repaid it

January 26, 2011 - Oxford Village's acting clerk, M. Patricia Paad, was suspended with pay Jan. 25, while police investigate "alleged deposit irregularities" involving some of the municipality's tax monies.

There's been an allegation made against Paad concerning "transactions" involving "some tax funds" that were later deposited into the village account "in full," according to a Jan. 26 memo written by village Manager Joe Young.

In a phone interview with this reporter, Young confirmed it's been alleged that Paad took village tax monies, then repaid them.

According to Young, although the alleged incident occurred "roughly five years ago," he was first made aware of it Jan. 25.

When asked who made this allegation, Young replied, "I really don't want to discuss that yet."

Young would also not disclose at this point how much money was allegedly involved.

"A review is being conducted involving our auditors," the manager wrote in his memo to council. "Our police department and our insurance carrier (have) been duly advised."

A special meeting of the village council has been called for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28. The subject of this meeting is "to consider the dismissal, suspension or disciplining of" Paad.

The meeting will be an open session, unless Paad requests a closed session as is her right under the Open Meetings Act.

Paad declined to comment on the allegations against her.

She had been working as the village's acting clerk since Dan Luick was fired from the position Oct. 12. Until then, she had served as deputy clerk.

Village President Teri Stiles couldn't comment on the specifics of the allegations against Paad because the matter is under investigation.

Stiles described this whole matter as an "unfortunate" situation for the village given the municipal offices are currently short-staffed and this type of news draws negative attention to the community.

The president did wish to assure village residents and taxpayers that she doesn't believe the municipality is missing any funds.

"Based on the audits that we've had done subsequently, I feel confident that if money went missing, it was paid back," she said. "I think we've kept a pretty good eye on the finances . . . At this point, I'm confident that there is no money missing."

Stiles indicated that if a home or business owner's property taxes had been paid at the village office five years ago, but never recorded and deposited, it would have been discovered long before now because the taxpayer would have brought it to the village's attention.

"I don't think there has been a case like that, otherwise we would have heard of that," she said. "That also makes me feel confident that (the) money was paid back, if that's what happened."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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