CHENANGO COUNTY – About 20 months ago, on April 8, 2019 New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and state police investigators announced the arrest of Chenango County’s longest serving town supervisor, Dennis Brown, charging him with a number of crimes for allegedly stealing more than $123,000 from taxpayers.
Investigators say he used the town’s money to fund his personal lifestyle, pad his salary, and pay his bills. They reported at the time of his arrest that Brown used the town’s credit card to pay for vacations in Myrtle Beach and New York City, fees for PayPal, Amazon and iTunes, designer handbags and liquor and cooking classes. Brown also allegedly used town funds to pay all of his home telephone, internet and electric bills.
Brown, was charged with 2nd degree grand larceny, scheme to defraud, defrauding the government, corrupting the government and public corruption.
Brown sat on the county’s finance and public works committees. Brown was the town of Pharsalia supervisor and had been on the board of supervisors for 35 years. He continued to serve on the board and its committees even after he was arrested, until he was elected out of office at the end of 2019.
The town’s new supervisor Jeremiah James Micklas said he is frustrated by the lack of progress the case has made and the lack of information being shared with the town. He said officials were working on getting the money compensated through insurance.
He said recent calls to officials for information had not been returned. Calls to the Cortland County DA’s office by the Evening Sun over the last few weeks, have not been returned for comment. A clerk at the office did confirm the case was still pending and no court date had been scheduled.
The Chenango County District Attorney’s Office, which is partly overseen by the board of supervisors, recused themselves from prosecuting the case locally and Cortland County DA Patrick A. Perfetti was selected as special prosecutor in the case.
In October of 2019 Perfetti said his office was working on a possible deal with Brown’s defense lawyer, that may include a guilty plea to a felony and paying the missing funds back.