Former Westfield clerk pleads guilty to taking $110K from city - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Former Westfield clerk pleads guilty to taking $110K from city

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On Wednesday at the United States District Court in Springfield, Susan Duffy pleaded guilty to stealing $110,278 to the city of Westfield between 2008 and 2011.

She also pleaded guilty on Monday to filing false tax returns in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

"Miss Duffy has been trying to take responsibility for this for a very long time," said Thomas Kokonowski, Duffy's attorney.

Duffy worked as a clerk for the tax collector's office in Westfield from 2005 to 2011.

Duffy was suspected of taking the money in 2011 and was fired. The city then hired an independent auditor to investigate into the missing tax dollars.  

On Monday, Duffy filed a confession in the U.S. District Court. In that, she admitted to stealing the cash from the city's property and utility tax payments through a scheme where she accepted taxpayer dollars.

However, she delayed posting the amounts, which gave her time to take the money unnoticed.

"Unbelievable… the amount of sophistication to be able to manage this kind of theft on a regular basis and go uncovered…it shakes the community to the core," said Mayor Daniel Knapik of Westfield.

Although Westfield City Hall has already instituted security measures, more will be added this spring to prevent something like this from happening again.

"As we remodel the interior of city this spring, we're going to put in additional security measures at the counter to ensure something like this never happens again," said Knapik.

The federal government said Duffy could face 12 to 18 months in prison.

Her next sentencing date has been set for March 27.

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