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3 Free Library Employees Facing Charges Of Embezzlement

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Three Free Library employees are facing charges after an Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigation revealed that they had embezzled more than $9,000 in overdue book fines.

The OIG uncovered that Natalie Collins, Linda Robinson and Patricia Finley—library assistants at the Haddington, Kingsessing and Wyoming branches of the Free Library, respectively—had stolen more than $9,000 in library funds in three separate schemes from May 2009 to November 2010. It also found that David Utz and Susan Rigsby, who were then branch managers at Kingsessing and Wyoming, had enabled the embezzlement via poor supervision.

Free Library President and CEO Siobhan Reardon has terminated the employees involved in the crimes, suspended one manager and demoted the second.

“Stealing overdue book fines from the Free Library is a sad commentary on public service gone awry, but rest assured, the Office of Inspector General will investigate cases like this and any others brought to our attention,” said Inspector General Amy Kurland. “This case also underlines the importance of effective supervisory oversight as a bulwark against fraud and corruption. Managers will be held accountable when they fail to uphold the public trust.”

In addition to the embezzlement and misconduct investigation, the OIG also analyzed the Free Library’s policies and procedures for processing payments from patrons.

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