Penn Yan man faces new charges for missing fire department funds

Gwen Chamberlain

Ronald Dailey, 39, of Penn Yan was arrested by New York State Police on Friday, Jan. 25 in connection to an investigation into missing funds from the Sheldon Hose Company of the Penn Yan Fire Department.

The new charges against Dailey are:

• Thirty first degree counts of falsifying business records

• Five second degree counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument

• Third degree grand larceny.

Dailey was arraigned before Milo Town Justice John Symonds and released on $5,000 cash bail.

Dailey, a former Penn Yan Village trustee, had submitted his resignation from the Penn Yan Village Board last spring. It was unanimously accepted by the village board on May 29, 2007. At that time he said the resignation was related to his need to attend to some family obligations, and he refused to comment on an internal investigation into missing fire department funds.

Penn Yan Fire Chief Brian Winslow did not immediately return a call on Saturday, Jan. 26 seeking comment on the case.

Penn Yan Mayor Douglas Marchionda Jr. said, “This really wraps up the investigation that’s been ongoing for more than six months.”

The mayor said while there was a lot of speculation in the community that village officials were not doing anything about the missing funds, “there was a lot going on in the background, but the investigation couldn’t go any faster to satisfy the rumor mill.”

Marchionda says village officials will be following the case very closely, because he’s heard there could be up to $30,000 in funds the village would like to recover.

“It’s just too bad for the Dailey family,” said Marchionda.

The village turned over the investigation to the New York State Police after fire department officials completed an internal audit and the village ordered an audit by an independent auditing firm.

Marchionda says some village officials were questioned during the investigation.

Dailey also faces felony charges in connection with about $7,300 in missing funds from special activities accounts in the Penn Yan Middle School.

That case, being heard in Penn Yan Village Court, has been adjourned until 5 p.m. Feb. 25, according to Village Justice Danny Hibbard.

Dailey, a tenured seventh grade social studies teacher, is suspended from his position with pay in relation to that case.

Dailey was arrested by the Penn Yan Village Police Department on Dec. 27 and charged with third degree grand larceny, a class D felony and 10 counts of falsifying business records, class E felonies. Those charges stemmed from a complaint from the school district following an audit.

In that case, according to Police Chief Gene Mitchell, Dailey allegedly falsified 10 payment requests between November 2004 and December 2006.

Mitchell says Dailey submitted copies of personal checks to the school district for reimbursement from the Middle School activities account. The checks had been made out to vendors, but he had not paid the vendors. Through this process, he received $7,270.69, which he was not entitled to receive from the account.

Dailey was arraigned before acting Village Justice John Symonds and committed on $5,000 cash or $10,000 bail bond to reappear for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 2 in Penn Yan Village Court.