The Putnam Examiner

Mahopac Chamber Reveals More Details Leading to CEO’s Arrest

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When former CEO/executive director of the Great Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce, Erin Meagher, was arrested for stealing from the business organization, Joseph Tock admitted the chamber suffered a black eye.

But he told chamber members during a State of the Chamber address last week, the non-profit hasn’t been hit with a knockout punch.

In light of the allegations, Tock, the legal counsel for the chamber, updated fellow chamber members last Tuesday at Four Brothers Restaurant in Mahopac. Tock, during brief remarks, gave further details about Meagher’s grand larceny arrest, including a firmer timeline of events and how the board internally handled the situation when financial discrepancies apparently arose. Meagher worked for the chamber for 13 months.

Tock described the alleged theft as a clever scheme meant to defraud the Mahopac chamber of commerce. He said about a month ago, board president and vice president, Faith Ann Butcher and Amy Sayegh, respectively, uncovered the potential theft. Once they discovered something, the two called Tock and the trio immediately met up.

During those four weeks leading to the arrest, Tock, Butcher and Sayegh met at Tock’s law office on Route 6, instead of the chamber office because Meagher might be there, he said. At his office, they reviewed documents and financial statements over several days and then called the district attorney’s office.

From there, Tock, assistant district attorney Larry Glasser, a district attorney investigator and sheriff office personnel all met multiple times and went over “a lot of evidence.”

By March 21, the board was ready to act and so was law enforcement. Tock said at about 9:30 a.m. Meagher was fired from her position and then that afternoon she was arrested by the sheriff’s department. The same night, an emergency board meeting was held where Tock urged board members–all volunteers–to not speak to press or comment about the arrest on social media because some board members are witness to the allegations.

Tock also thought it was important to have one voice, and the local attorney thought he was the best person to fit that mold.

“You have a right to feel angry, you have a right to feel upset, you have a right to feel betrayed,” Tock said, adding later. “We’ve been around for 69 years and I submit to you despite the black eye, we’re going to be around for another 69 years, at a minimum.”

The chamber also has an insurance policy, Tock noted and whatever money went missing will be replaced and the chamber would be whole again.

Tock said he’s met with personnel from the district attorney’s office about eight times over the past three and a half weeks and said the investigation was ongoing as of last week. Right now, Meagher is accused of stealing more than $1,000, Tock said, which equates to grand larceny in the 4th degree, an E felony.

“The district attorney has indicated there may be additional charges and that is certainly a possibility,” Tock said. “Sit tight.”

Meagher has denied the accusations leveled against her. Meagher’s attorney, Kevin Reverri, said Meagher would be vindicated when all the facts are released.

“I believe that I was targeted because of my youth and political affiliation with numerous organizations,” Meagher said in a statement to The Putnam Examiner following her arrest.

Two weeks ago Tock, on behalf of the chamber, wrote a strongly worded statement to fellow chamber members and the press, accusing Meagher of using the chamber debit card as her personal slush fund to purchase clothes, handbags, shoes and jewelry. He additionally accused her of fabricating false invoices from Amazon to fool the chamber board of directors.

Both Tock and Butcher told members the chamber would work toward implementing better financial controls and policies in the coming months.

Near the end of his remarks, Tock reminded chamber members the community events the chamber organizes, the money it contributes toward scholarships and its other community involvement.

Meagher has a court date scheduled for April 11 in Town of Carmel Justice Court at 6 p.m. Tock encouraged chamber members to attend the court appearance.

“I have a lot of confidence in the district attorney’s office that they will do the best possible job,” Tock said. “that they will vigorously prosecute this person and they should.”


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