HORNELL, N.Y. (WETM) –  Michelle “Shelly” Stevens, the former Executive Director of Hornell Partners for Growth (HPG), pled guilty to fourth degree grand larceny, according to the New York State Comptroller’s Office.

According to New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli Stevens stole $1,711 in cash from the non-profit’s Annual Fourth of July festival that was earmarked for the city’s Business Improvement District.

Stevens was also previously accused of falsifying business records by claiming that she distributed additional festival cash to local charities, but deposited it into her personal bank account.

Stevens was ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $1,711 and is due back in court for sentencing on January 3, 2023.    

Stevens, 38, of Almond, worked at HPG from 2014 to 2018 and resigned as the Almond town clerk in Allegany County in the Spring of 2021.

“Stevens betrayed her responsibility to the public by lining her own pockets with money that was meant to help her community,” DiNapoli said. “Thanks to my partnership with Steuben County D.A. Baker and the State Police she was held accountable for her actions.”

The conviction was a result of a joint investigation by Comptroller DiNapoli, District Attorney Baker, and the New York State Police.

“This plea was accomplished based on the tremendous effort and work of the Comptroller’s office, the NY State Police, and the Steuben County DA’s Office,” said Steuben County Assistant District Attorney Drinald V. Bilcari. “It sends the right message that betrayal of public trust will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

18 News first reported Stevens’ arrest in February 2020.