Audit discovers $200k theft from Rensselaer County

Brenda Kennedy
Brenda Kennedy
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Updated: 3/26/2013 1:26 pm

TROY, N.Y. - A Rensselaer County employee was found to have taken over $200,000 from the county over the course of six-years, according to an audit released Tuesday by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The former county clerk in the health department, 30-year-old Brenda Kennedy of Lansingburgh, was first charged in July with grand larceny, falsifying business records and defrauding the government.

Kennedy, a 10-year employee of the county, was taking payments made for services such as immunizations, cancer screenings, evaluation and treatment services for children with special needs, and various recreational programs, for herself instead of turning it into the Department of Health. Discrepancies were noticed when Kennedy took some time off and someone else covered for her job.

The extent of her fraud, however, was not determined until county officials contacted DiNapoli's office requesting a full audit.

According to DiNapoli's findings, from January 2007 through May 2012, the county's public health department remitted more than 12,000 receipts totaling more than $6.5 million to the county bureau of finance for deposit. However, auditors found that Kennedy failed to remit 567 receipts totaling $111,582 for deposit. In addition, 365 receipts were recorded in the accounting records for $77,582 less than the actual amounts that were paid to the department.

Additionally, auditors identified 397 receipts totaling $19,433 from the county's nursing unit that were not remitted for deposit.

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