Statement by Trustee Carmen Rue on the 40-Count Felony Indictment of the Village Clerk

See article "Monticello clerk faces 40 count indictment in case of double-dipping" and a copy of the Indictment for public information

October 22, 2009

Our Village Clerk is under felony indictment, accused by a Grand Jury that she "did steal United States Currency from the New York State Office of Court Administration".

According to the indictment, Mrs. Schop held two jobs at one time and claimed that she was in two places at once.

When she was clocked in at the Law Library, she was here at Village Hall instead of working for the State. When her signed time sheets claimed she was here at Village Hall, she was at the Law Library working for the State instead of the Village.

And she took in two salaries, both with benefits.

This is shameful. It is a disgrace to a public officer. It embarrasses the Village of Monticello and also the New York State Office of Court Administration. But as a Trustee, my chief concern is the Village.

Too many in our community are unemployed. Yet Mrs. Schop feels she is entitled to be paid by the taxpayers to be in two places at once.

Even after being indicted, I have witnessed the same behavior continue. On one occasion, when Mrs. Schop called into the Village claiming he was too sick to work, I found her at the Law Library performing that job, yet still on the Village payroll, "out sick".

The contents of the indictment are criminal allegations. But I have seen the evidence first hand, and I have witnessed Mrs. Schop on many occasions working one job during hours when I knew she was being paid by her other employer.

I knew this was wrong and I told her so, but she ignored me, disrespected me, and called me names. Now she mocks the criminal justice system, with no remorse.

During my 18 months as a Village Trustee, I have put in writing to Mrs. Schop more than once directing her to keep clearer track of her time and to maintain clearer boundaries.

Her reply to me, time and again, was to claim that she did not answer to me. She even claimed not to answer to the Chief Executive Officer of the Village, our Village Manager. She claimed she only answered to the Mayor.

This is false. NYS Village Law Section 4-402 says the Village Clerk will “during office hours as prescribed by the board of trustees” perform the duties set by the board of trustees.

The law does not say she is supervised by the Mayor, as she has told the Trustees.

Our Village Code is very clear about the hours that Village Hall is open for business and the Clerk must be present. For too long we have paid for a full-time Clerk, but only gotten part time work. We can no longer allow this to continue. The felony criminal indictment against Mrs. Schop demands action.

It is my belief Mrs. Schop has violated her oath of office and should resign as Village Clerk, There is a cloud over Village Hall. I have been flooded with calls all day, every day, since the felony indictments were handed down against Mrs. Schop, asking how the Village Board can allow this to continue.

I am now stating, for the record, in public, that if it appears that there is probable cause to believe Mrs. Schop has also stolen from the Village of Monticello, in the way the Grand Jury has accused her of stealing from the State of New York, that she may expect additional, equally serious criminal charges.

I respectfully ask Mrs. Schop to show good faith and integrity and immediately resign as Village Clerk for the good of the Village of Monticello and to restore the trust of the taxpayers.