Dailey enters three guilty pleas

Gwen Chamberlain

After pleading guilty to three counts of third degree grand larceny  in Yates County Criminal Court May 15, Ronald Dailey, 39, is likely to serve 15 months in Yates County Jail.

In addition he has resigned from his job as a Penn Yan Middle School teacher and repaid nearly $50,000 he admits he took from the Sheldon Hose Company of the Penn Yan Volunteer Fire Department and accounts at the Penn Yan Middle School as part of an agreement he reached with District Attorney Susan Lindenmuth.

His jail term could be reduced to 10 months for good behavior, according to his attorney.

When Judge Dennis Bender asked Dailey, "Are you ready to plead guilty?",  he responded clearly, "I am, your honor."

After the judge read each of the charges, and asked if Dailey committed the crime, Dailey answered, "Yes, sir."

In all, Dailey admitted:

• He took $37,081.25 from the Sheldon Hose Company  between November 2003 and March 2007 through a systematic process involving forged checks and submitting claims for reimbursement.

• He took $7,085 from the Penn Yan Middle School Teacher's Social Account at Five Star Bank between September 2005 and October 2007 using forged checks and requests for reimbursement.

• He took $7,270.69 from the Penn Yan Middle School Activities Account at Five Star Bank between November 2004 and December 2006 through a similar process.

Dailey will be sentenced on June 19 at 9:30 a.m.

As he left the courtroom, Dailey declined to comment, but his attorney, John A. Schuppenhauer said he advised Dailey to withhold comment until after sentencing.

For the first time since the investigation into funds missing from the Sheldon Hose Company began last year, Dailey acknowledged, through comments made by his attorney, a gambling addiction that prompted him to take the money.

"This is a tragic thing that's happened to an upstanding member of the community," said Schuppenhauer, who added, "Ron does suffer from an addiction and he has sought help with Gambler's Anonymous and pursued counseling."

Schuppenhauer said Dailey sought help soon after investigation into the missing Sheldon Hose Company funds began, and he paid back $12,000 before the fire department's funds were audited and the additional $37,000 was discovered missing.

Schuppenhauer said Dailey had never considered taking the case to a trial and not pleading guilty to the charges.

"From the beginning, he came clean and fully admitted to what he did," said Schuppenhauer, who described Dailey as "profoundly remorseful."

Dailey's resignation from the Penn Yan Central School District means the school district will not need to pursue an expensive 3020A hearing process to remove him from the tenured position he held.

Dailey resigned from his trustee seat on the Penn Yan Village Board in May 2007. He received the highest number of votes when five candidates sought three seats on the board in 2006, and he had been a popular Middle School Social Studies teacher. In addition, he has been involved in the fire department and village committees and recreation programs for several years.

He was released on his own recognizance to appear for sentencing on June 19.