Ex-Varick court clerk gets jail after stealing $166K

A former clerk with the Town of Varick is now at the Seneca County Correctional Facility for embezzling thousands of dollars after sentencing on Monday.

Julie Dougherty, who was accused of stealing $166,999 over the course of eight years — was ordered to pay full-restitution; and will also serve six months in jail. She will also serve five years’ probation, as well.

Last month she pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny, which is a Class C felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Restitution was paid through her attorney, according to the courts.

She was arrested last October after a lengthy investigation into funds that were stolen between 2010 and 2017.

District Attorney Barry Porsch said she collected fine money and surcharges from cases during that time, but did not report the convictions to the state. Porsch said the town judge during that time, David Ettman, admitted he did not review the court’s financial records.

Dougherty gave a brief statement saying, “I am sorry for what I put the court through, the town and my family, because I couldn’t ask for help.” She added, “I can’t take it back. I wish I could.”

Bender called it a ‘huge abuse of public trust’ during sentencing. “I thought long and hard about this,” he said. “I am somewhat sympathetic to your situation, but this was not the proper way to deal with it.”

The judge denied a joint-request by Porsch and the Town of Varick for an additional $20,000 in restitution, which would have covered salaries and spending necessary to get the court’s finances back in order after the entire ordeal.

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