Former GCS auditor faces felony charges

A Warrensburg man faces multiple felony charges after a Washington County Grand Jury indicted him for falsely claiming to have done auditing work for the Granville School District in 2008.

Michael A. Kelly, 61, was charged with attempted fourth-degree grand larceny and two counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, accused of requesting payment from the district for work he said he performed in his position as an auditor.

The Granville School District hired Kelly as an auditor in July 2007, but later did not accept his report, or pay two claims, for the work he said he had done.

Business manager Cathy Somich said the matter came to her attention after starting work in the district in March of 2008.

“I had an audit coming in June and I hadn’t been here for most of the school year,” she said.

Over the course of preparing for the upcoming audit, Somich said she found “some irregularity.”

Somich contacted then-Superintendent Dan Teplesky and school board President Kathy Nelson and they contacted the school’s attorney Monica Duffy. 

Duffy then contacted the authorities and informed them of what had been discovered and an outside police investigation was begun into the matter.

Kelly claimed he conducted interviews with the school’s cafeteria and transportation managers, but did not, school officials discovered, prompting them to withhold payment for the services and approach law enforcement officials.

Asked for more detail of what she found, Somich said: “I don’t know how far I can comment because as far as I know it’s still an ongoing investigation.”

Somich said the incident did not cost the district anything because Kelly’s request for payment was denied.

School officials negotiated a per diem arrangement with Kelly in 2007 where he was supposed to perform audit work for $400 per day plus travel expenses. Kelly later billed the district for $1,834 but was rebuffed on two separate occasions.

The retired former business manager of the Warrensburg school district, Kelly was convicted previously of a felony for tampering with public records.

Kelly modified records to gain 100 percent healthcare coverage after his 2006 retirement from Warrensburg.

Kelly struck a deal which allowed him to withdraw a guilty plea to the felony charge after six months on probation and then enter a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge. Kelly was granted a conditional discharge from the misdemeanor charge, according to reports.

Kelly was taken into custody by State Police Saturday, April 2 and released from Washington County Jail following arraignment Monday in Washington County Court in front of Judge Kelly McKeighan. Kelly was released on his own recognizance pending a later appearance in court.

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