Thursday, July 19, 2018
   
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Official Statement by Lori A. Sullivan, Mayor of the Village of Briarcliff Manor

On July 2, 2018, former Briarcliff Manor Fire Chief and Treasurer Michael Garcia pleaded guilty in Federal Court in White Plains in connection with the misappropriation of Briarcliff Manor Fire Council and Fire Company funds.  The investigation that led to this plea bargain was commenced in September of 2017, upon our discovery of initial indications that a misappropriation may have occurred. At that time, the Mayor and Village Board of Trustees immediately notified the Briarcliff Manor Chief of Police who commenced a full investigation of this matter.  Simultaneously, a full outside, forensic audit was engaged through our Village Counsel to review and analyze the scope of the misappropriation.  A final report has been received wherein numerous recommendations were offered to correct lapses in Fire Council oversight, many of which have already been implemented.

Our Police Department worked closely with the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office on this thorough and extended investigation to determine the full breadth of the misappropriation and to bring the appropriate party to justice.  We are relieved to confirm that the missing funds did not include any tax revenue received from our residents and property owners.

We remain grateful to our Police Department and Village Staff, as well as the Federal authorities in their dogged pursuance of justice in this matter.  Unfortunately, this type of criminal activity has become all too commonplace as we have followed similar events in other municipalities in the Hudson Valley.  It is all the more discouraging that our Volunteer Fire Department and its Fire Companies as well as our Ambulance Corps have suffered at several levels as a result of the actions of an individual in a leadership position.  We thank and fully support the brave community-minded volunteers who continue to keep our residents and businesses safe and pledge to work with the Village’s Fire Council to help ensure that such an event is not repeated in the future.

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I vertify that this is an official statement authorized by Briarcliff Manor Mayor Lori A. Sullivan.

Philip E. Zegarelli,

Village Manager

3 July 2018

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