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Friday, June 15, 2012

Oswayo Valley Memorial Library Statement Regarding Recent Arrests

Oswayo Valley Memorial Library Statement Regarding Recent Arrests 


Yesterday, June 13, 2012, charges were filed against Former Oswayo Valley Memorial Library Director Tammy Ann Ray and former Library Board Member and President Rebeccah Dickerson in connection with several thousand dollars of suspected non-library purchases made by Ms. Ray and Ms. Dickerson for personal use. Tammy Ann Ray was the director of the Oswayo Valley Memorial Library from January 2005 until October 2011. Rebeccah Dickerson joined the board in 2007 and was Board President from January 2011 until March 2012, at which time she resigned.

In early 2012, during an audit of the Library’s finances in connection with a grant, several suspect purchases were noted on the Library’s account. These findings prompted an exhaustive review of the Library’s catalog and finances. This extensive internal audit revealed several thousand dollars of suspected non-library purchases dating back to December 2006. Upon completion of the internal investigation, the library turned over its findings to Trooper Uhl of the Coudersport-based Pennsylvania State Police. In April, the case was assigned to Trooper David Surra, who diligently worked to build a case against Ms. Ray and Ms. Dickerson. District Attorney Andy Watson was also instrumental in helping the investigation move forward.

Upon learning of the suspect purchases, members of the board acted swiftly and thoroughly to investigate and address the misconduct. In addition, the current Library Board implemented comprehensive policies and procedures to prevent future malfeasance. The Library is disappointed in its former Director and Board President and dismayed at the recent events; however, it will strive to continue to serve the people of the greater Shinglehouse Area. The Library asks for the community’s continued support.

15 comments :

Anonymous said...

This is so sad, on so many levels. This Library is so beautiful and a nice place to spend some time, not to mention all of the programs offered.

Anonymous said...

Sad! Let me ask where is the treasurer? I happen to know that bills do not get paid unless a treasurer gives and signs approval. I think perhaps the librarian is a scapegoat. Most nonprofit places dont pay bills unless the treasurer and boatd approves them. Something smells fishy! Before anyone points fingers they should see where the financial responsibility lays! That is with the board. You mean they were issuing checks without looking at the bills? They should be arrested too. No bills would be paid if they were doing there job!!! People should consider this!!! Regardless is personal purchases were made. The treasurer paid them!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the community will continue to support the library. Many people over the years have invested themselves as well as their funds in this great resource.

Thank you for that well-written statement concerning the matter.

Anonymous said...

Awful! The librarian in question was wonderful! Sad that the board who is legally responsible is blaming her! She was great with the kids! Why blame someone who made that library! The board is responsible!!! They should be arrested!!! Nothing would have been paid all these years if the board was doing THEIR job!! Wake up OV! See the real truth! The blame is on the board and bill payers! Matter of fact look at the fact that they had a paid book keeper!! Hmmm....wasted money on a book keeper if they werent seeing what the bills were! One thing is for sure, the old librarian was great with the community and was always having programs!

Tina said...

Greed. It will be the demise of this country.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm..who paid the bills? The library has been always hurting for funds. However how can only two get blamed? The board is responsible! Blame the treasurer and all the rest who authorized the payments! If these purchases were personal then they should have been in question when the bills were paid! The librarian had many super programs and was great with the kids! Always had prizes! She ran more programs and gave away incentives to everyone! Where was the board members? If they actively participated then they would know what was given out and what was purchased! Beware! If this board is blaming others for their faults! I would hope that people see this as sometimes good people are blamed even though they are innocent! Know this!!! I would think twice about donating to an organization whose board members dont look at the bills each month! Also i question the new librarian some one told me that she was also the person in charge of the books and reports! What the heck! What was she doing? She should have caught this before it went this far. Maybe she was in on this too! I know that everyone is innocent until proven guilty however sometimes the guilty start off blaming others! I know that regardless the librarian in question did a lot of good. There was never a lack of books or programs. I am distraught over this but know in my heart that more are involved as a nonprofit acts as a board and they are at fault for not controling what was being spent! Such a sad thing to blame a person who was always dedicated to the organization! Where were the committees for this board? I know library audits ard done each year! Why did the board not examine them? Seems to me as a cover up and unfortunately the librarian is getting blamed!

Anonymous said...

Well said. It seems there is corruption in every organization from small to large. Thank you to the library personnel for digging to the bottom of this and acting on it. Too many times things like this are just swept under the rug. Our community is very fortunate to have such a wonderful library.

Anonymous said...

Did the library go without an audit for six years? If no, who did the earlier audits? I don't know the legal structure of who controls the library, but there seems to be something missing here. Who signs the checks and/or authorized payments for the past half decade?

Jerry Austin, GySgt, USMC, Retired. said...

To cut down on wondering. Why doesn't the person who made this statement regarding the recent arrests let everyone know how in sequence purchases are made in chronological order. Start from the purchase request, reason of purchase request, the approving official of the request and the person who actually paid the request. Providing this would clear up a lot of speculation who is to blame. Without this information, who knows who is really to blame.

Anonymous said...

My dog has more intelligence then some of the people that post these comments.

Blaming others is always the easiest.

It doesn't look fishy at all when someone resigns from the board (as a president no less) about the time that everything is being investigated. If you didn't do the crime then maybe you should of remained on the board as president and made sure justice was being served and they got the full story straight from the horses mouth. That is what an innocent leader would do.

The library got it right when they said that they are disappointed in their former director and board president. They should be.

Anonymous said...

We will know the full facts as they come out in the case, but until we do there is no reason to take any sides or point fingers. If others are involved it will come out in the wash. But there are plenty examples of employees and board members having access to petty cash which they can easily go through like water and/or have access to bank accounts because they are trusted. Normally depts. have their own budget and many times superiors do not question what it is spent on assuming the person/s are spending it correctly. This is common budget practices with municipalities all over the country. The difference when you are caught improperly spending money is if the person is caught early they are usually only fired, but if it takes year to either wake up to it or figure it out it builds up to a crime instead. By the way, last time I checked someone doing their job well is not proof that they are innocent of a crime anyway. I think Tammy is a sweet person and I hope she is innocent. If others are involved I hope they are prosecuted too.

Anonymous said...

Yes, The Board needs to be looked at. That you Mr Watson For doing such a great job. Rubber stamp Andy I hope you are interested at getting at the truth and not just a conviction. The whole board od directors need to be checked out.

Anonymous said...

People are so dumb these days. Automatically taking sides just because the person was so nice and did so much for the library. I'm sure they have plenty of evidence to prove these people guilty, otherwise they wouldn't go this far into it. Especially with all the hassle.

Do you really think they are just trying to put the blame on someone? No! Once again, they must have enough evidence to prove it, otherwise the cops wouldn't have let them get this far into the search.

Grow up!

I'm sure they are doing everything they can and are under a lot of stress. The last thing they need is people who don't know anything about this to start accusing those who stumbled upon this misfortune. They need support. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

No presumption of innocence in Shinglehouse. The Library shouldn't even be commenting on a legal matter involving them in a criminal case.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but if there wasn't evidence, there would not have been arrests. All will come out in the trial, I'm sure. This is something we hear more and more of over the years. People stealing from their own communities. I would like to see a list of the items stolen, have those items been seized? Whose possession were they in when seized? It will be an interesting trial.