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FORGERY COUNT IS DENIED BY EX-MALL DIRECTOR

The former director of the Genesee Country Mall pleaded innocent Monday in City Court to a second-degree forgery charge involving operating funds for the mall.

Police say Kathleen A. Rooney, 26, of Rochester allegedly signed the name of Ronald DiSalvo to a $21,000 check transferring funds from the Mall Operating Committee's account to a Mall Merchants Association account.

DiSalvo operates a shoe store in the mall and is one of the few authorized to sign Operating Committee checks.

Police said Ms. Rooney apparently made several unauthorized transfers over a two-year period.

She told authorities that the checks -- ranging from $200 to $4,000 -- were written to pay mall bills.

Ms. Rooney had been mall manager for three years when she resigned June 15.

D. Michael Murray, the mall attorney, said both sides have agreed to defer court action until an audit is completed by Paul, J. Battaglia, a certified public accountant.

Murray said investigators are uncertain whether any money is actually missing and, if so, where it went. Ms. Rooney remained free on $5,000 bail after being arraigned before City Judge Lawrence H. Schultz Jr.

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