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Former Hamburg employee admits theft of $150,000 in recreation fees

A former Hamburg village recreation attendant on Wednesday admitted stealing more than $150,000 from the village over six years, state and county officials said.

Joanne Erickson, 54, stole cash intended to pay for after-school and children's summer programs, as well as recreation hall rental fees. An investigation and audit by the state Comptroller's Office discovered the theft and found that Erickson had altered cash reports and submitted them to village officials, including her supervisor, between 2011 and 2017.

The Comptroller's Office passed this information to the Erie County District Attorney's Office for prosecution. The 14-year village employee was fired from her $35,000-per-year job in April.

Erickson pleaded guilty in Erie County Court to grand larceny, false filing and official misconduct. Officials alleged she used the money pay her credit card, general household and personal expenses over the course of seven years. 

Sentencing is set for Jan. 9.

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