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City of New Rochelle Employee Arrested, Terminated over Theft of $9,500 From Tax Department

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City of New Rochelle Employee Arrested, Terminated over Theft of $9,500 From Tax Department

June 23, 2015 - 13:34
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Donna Lee

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY --  Donna Lee, 48, of 41 Cooper Drive in New Rochelle, a twenty-five year employee of the City of New Rochelle, was arrested last night by the New Rochelle Police Department and charged with Grand Larceny - 3rd, a Class D Felony in relation to the theft of $9,500 in cash receipts in the City of New Rochelle Tax Department. Lee was held overnight at New Rochelle Police Headquarters and is scheduled to be arraigned this morning.

“Earlier this month the Finance Department reported $9,500 missing from the Tax Office and turned the matter over to the New Rochelle Police Department," said City Manager Charles B. Strome, III. "After a thorough investigation an arrest has been made."

The employee, Donna Lee, was terminated and the matter will be turned over to the District Attorney’s office for criminal prosecution, said Strome.

Lee is a naturalized-American citizen, born in Jamaica, according to police records.

According to FindTheDate, Donna Lee was hired by the City of New Rochelle on May 16, 1990. She previously worked in the office of the New Rochelle City Court but was recently transferred to the Municipal Tax Offie. In 2011, the last year on records, Lee earned a salary of $25,302.

Talk of the Sound broke the story that $9,500 was missing from the New Rochelle Tax Department on June 4th.

The criminal investigation by the New Rochelle Police Department was launched based on a referral from New Rochelle City Manager Charles B. Strome following an internal investigation by the City’s Finance Department.

The money was found missing on May 28th as part of the internal control measures in place at the Finance Department. An internal investigation revealed a $9,500 discrepancy in cash deposits and that a cash deposit was not made according to established procedure

At the time, Strome told Talk of the Sound that the established procedures for handling of cash deposits has been in place for over 20 years without a discrepancy.

“We are evaluating our internal control system in the Tax Department to determine if improvements can be implemented,” said Strome.

The New Rochelle Tax Department collects property taxes for the City of New Rochelle, Westchester County, the New Rochelle City School District, and the New Rochelle Public Library. Cash payments of tax bills must be made in person at the City Hall Tax Office on the ground floor of City Hall.