October 17, 2018
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Maine town’s former treasurer accused of stealing $17,960

Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
The Blue Hill Town Office

BLUE HILL, Maine — Police issued a summons to Blue Hill’s former treasurer last week, accusing her of stealing $17,960 from town accounts.

[Blue Hill officials probing loss of town funds]

Jody Murphy allegedly stole the money by taking funds from municipal bank deposits, town transfer funds and by adding unauthorized stipends to her own paychecks, said detective Steve McFarland of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office.

McFarland declined to speculate on why Murphy allegedly stole the money or how it might have been used.

Her attorney, Max Coolidge, said on Monday that his client was surprised to receive the summons.

He said he could not comment further without seeing the allegations in detail, which have not yet been made available to him.

[Blue Hill hires new treasurer as probe of missing funds continues]

The police investigation began almost six months ago, when auditors conducting an annual review couldn’t find cash associated with several bank deposits.

Murphy was placed on paid administrative on Oct. 5. She submitted a letter of resignation on Nov. 16 that selectmen accepted the following day.

Liberty Bonding Services of Boston reimbursed the town for $13,238 in January. The reimbursement came from a fidelity bond, which insures the town against loss of funds through error or malfeasance.

The reimbursement coincided with the amount auditors discovered missing. Subsequent investigation revealed the altering of stipends, McFarland said. It was unclear whether the town has been or will be reimbursed for the difference.

The 38-year-old Murphy was issued a summons on March 13 for Class B theft, which covers the stealing of property valued at more than $10,000 and carries a sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $20,000.

Murphy is due in Hancock County District Court on April 3, McFarland said.

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