Saratoga County District Attorney Karen A. Heggen announced that Charles B. “Chip” Locke (d.o.b. 12/26/72), of 94 North Greenfield Road, Porters Corners, New York, was sentenced today by Acting Saratoga County Court Judge Jeffrey Wait to six months in the Saratoga County Jail, to be followed by a 5 year period of probation for his April 12, 2017 guilty plea to Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” felony, in violation of New York State Penal Law Section 155.35(1). Judge Wait also ordered the defendant to pay restitution in the amount of $ 15,070.70 to the Greenfield Home School Association. Locke plead guilty in April and admitted to stealing money between September 13, 2014 and September 22, 2015 from the Greenfield Home School Association, a parent group supporting the students of the Greenfield Elementary School located in the Town of Greenfield, Saratoga County.
Locke was the Treasurer of the Greenfield HSA at the time of the theft. It is that position which gave him access to the bank accounts of the HSA. He admitted stealing approximately $15,070.70 over about a one year period. He admitted he stole the money to pay for his car, household bills and also his wife’s credit card bills. At the time of the theft, he was also the President of the Board of Education for the Saratoga Springs School District. He resigned from that position shortly after his arrest.
An accounting by the school and the HSA uncovered a pattern of behavior which involved Locke taking cash payments for himself and writing checks to himself for bills that did not exist. Many valid bills did not get paid during this time such as yearbooks for many children and many vendors. While exact amount of loss is extremely difficult to calculate, since much of the money came into the HSA as cash as a result of fundraisers, DA Heggen said that her office was confident that they could prove the theft of at least $15,070.70 beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, that is the amount of restitution sought from the defendant.
Samantha Jacksland, President of the Greenfield HSA delivered a victim impact statement to the Court today. She eloquently spoke of the impact of the defendant’s crime upon the 380 students at the Greenfield Elementary School. Attached please find a copy of her statement.
DA Heggen noted that “Mr. Locke’s crime was one of opportunity. The thefts for which he plead guilty show an escalation from taking small amounts from the account of the Greenfield Home School Association, to taking increased and more frequent amount. He even used some funds to pay his own bills.”