July 18, 2018
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Blue Hill hires new treasurer as probe of missing funds continues

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

BLUE HILL, Maine — As police continue to investigate, the town has hired a new treasurer and received an insurance company reimbursement for $13,238 discovered missing during an annual audit, officials said Tuesday.

The Board of Selectmen met with Hancock County Sheriff’s Office detective Steve McFarland for 1½ hours in executive session on Monday to discuss the missing funds. McFarland declined to comment on Tuesday.

The police investigation began almost four months ago, when auditors conducting an annual review couldn’t find cash associated with several bank deposits. Town Treasurer Jody 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 about two weeks ago, town insurance agent Robert Clapp said. The reimbursement came from a fidelity bond, which insures the town against loss of funds through error or malfeasance.

Selectman Jim Schatz called the reimbursement “a relief.”

“We have certainly invested a lot of time trying to investigate this, which has a cost attached to it,” Schatz said Tuesday.

Murphy has not been charged in connection with the theft, and efforts to contact her have been unsuccessful. Town officials have declined to comment on whether Murphy’s resignation had anything to do with the deposit discrepancies.

The board voted unanimously to hire Rebecca Wilber effective Jan. 12 as Murphy’s replacement. She receives $20 per hour in the full-time position. Wilber was originally hired as an administrative assistant to selectmen in early November.

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