BELFAST – The former Troy clerk who pleaded not guilty to embezzling town funds this week confessed to the charge during the initial investigation, police said Friday.

Kathy Mattingly was arrested in June after she confessed to embezzling nearly $20,000 during an interview with a detective, Waldo County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jeff Trafton said.

“She didn’t dispute it at all,” he said.

Mattingly, 56, was clerk for more than a year in the town, which has about 1,000 residents and a $526,000 budget this year. She appeared in Waldo County Superior Court on Thursday.

Trafton said Mattingly told Detective Gerry Lincoln that she stole the money and described how she did it, but denied allegations from selectmen that she took the money because of a gambling problem.

Trafton said when residents paid in cash, Mattingly would keep some of the money. He said Mattingly also confessed to writing checks to herself from the town.

Trafton said the thefts first were reported to the sheriff’s office May 6, after selectmen found discrepancies in the records during an internal audit. About $18,000 was discovered to be missing.

Trafton said the selectmen first alerted their attorney, who advised them to call the police.

The selectmen told Lincoln they thought Mattingly had stolen the missing money, Trafton said.

“At the first meeting, she was their very first suspect,” he said.

The selectmen told the detective Mattingly was a frequent gambler and they thought she was taking the money to gamble, he said.

“They believed she had been using the computers at work to go gambling online,” he said.

During the subsequent investigation, Lincoln subpoenaed Mattingly’s financial records along with her Club Hollywood rewards card record from Hollywood Casino in Bangor, Trafton said.

The town also ordered an audit of its files, which discovered $19,813 was missing from town accounts.

Mattingly could not be reached for comment. She does not have an attorney on record, according to a Waldo County Superior Court clerk.

Her next appearance is scheduled for Dec. 3. She is charged with theft by unauthorized taking or transfer, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.

Mattingly was the treasurer from January 2012 until March 2013. An earlier police report incorrectly referred to Mattingly as the town treasurer.

Trafton said sheriff’s office records list Mattingly as resigning March 29 but do not give a reason for her resignation.

 

Kaitlin Schroeder can be contacted at 861-9252 or at:

kschroeder@mainetoday.com