Prosecutors allege that the former Town of Hamburg finance director bought personal items with the town credit card over a 17-month period. And now she is facing misdemeanor charges, including official misconduct.
Samantha Tarczynski was fired from the town Sept. 22, 2021, after an investigation by Hamburg town police found probable cause that she misused a credit card.
Tarczynski, 33, of Hamburg, pleaded not guilty in Hamburg Town Court Friday on charges of official misconduct, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and petit larceny.
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said in a news release that Tarczynski is accused of knowingly misusing a town credit card between May 17, 2019, and Oct. 24, 2020, to buy personal items valued at less than $1,000. He said the state comptroller's office assisted in the investigation.
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“This defendant was trusted to oversee finances on behalf of the residents of Hamburg, but instead she allegedly misused a town credit card to purchase items for herself," Flynn said. "My office is committed to restoring our citizen’s trust in public employees and will continue to prosecute cases involving the misuse of taxpayer dollars."
“Any betrayal of trust by a public official is unacceptable. As finance director and a public servant, Samantha Tarczynski had the duty to protect taxpayer money. Instead, she allegedly used public money for her personal expenses,” state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said.
Tarczynski was hired as director of administration and finance Jan. 23, 2017. She was paid $87,400, according to minutes of the Town Board.
Former Town Supervisor James Shaw said in 2021 that someone filed a Freedom of Information Law request for all credit card purchases made on the town credit account in the Finance Department. The person brought the report to Shaw, who said some of the things looked a "little suspicious," and he handed over the information to the Police Department. Shaw said Tarczynski at the time denied it to him and "had some excuses."