Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Public access thief offers public apology

TIVOLI - Speaking publicly for the first clip since his apprehension Aug. 21, 2007, apprehension for expansive larceny, Prince Charles Callejo apologized Thursday for the larceny that nearly shuttered the Northern Dutchess populace entree telecasting station.

And he vowed to refund the community and the telecasting station for his actions by once again volunteering his services to the not-for-profit organization.

Surrounded by Populace Entree Northern Dutchess Area (PANDA) board members inside the station's Tibur studio and with the photographic camera rolling, Callejo said he was solely responsible for the theft.

"I am here to widen my apologises to you as a board as well as to each of you individually for my actions during my clip as president of the board of giant panda and acting treasurer," Callejo said, reading from a prepared statement. "I believe it is of import for everyone to cognize that I was solely responsible for my actions. No 1 on the giant panda board at that clip had any cognition of my actions."

In response to questioning from the board about his actions, Callejo, 57, said he took the money because of a "personal, fiscal situation."

"It was a very hard situation, I felt there was no other recourse," he said. "I establish myself in a hard situation. My purpose was always to pay it back, it just didn't happen."

Despite perennial efforts by board members to acquire an account for the theft, Callejo declined to lucubrate on the matter, saying he didn't "want to do any excuses," or "minimize what I did."

But he said, "I experience I'm a good individual who made a mistake."

The co-owner of Terry's Bakery in Red Hook and a long-time public volunteer, Callejo was appointed to the giant panda Board of Directors as Red Hook's representative in 2004. He said he began siphoning money from the organization's business relationship in January 2006.

Over the course of study of nine months, Callejo wrote out bank checks to himself from the organization's business relationship totaling $22,198. The thefts, which left the telecasting station with a depository financial institution business relationship balance of roughly $250, were discovered shortly after the assignment of current board president, Kathy Hammer, to the board.

In April, Callejo pleaded guilty to one count of expansive larceny, a felony. He was sentenced on Tuesday by Dutchess County Judge Gerald Helen Hayes to five old age probation and 100 hours of community service.

Hammer said it was Callejo's thought to apologise to the board in a section that volition be aired over the public entree telecasting station, broadcast locally on transmission channel 23.

"I believe it was an of import thing for you to have got come," she told Callejo.

"I'm cook to re-emerge in the community again with community service," he said. "I had to take a dorsum seat, but I'm cook to come up up up back out, brushwood myself off and start all over again."

Hammer, who had called the community service part of Callejo's sentence "too light," said Callejo can make damages to the station by helping the organisation digitize recordings of municipal meetings so they can be aired on the station's Web site.

"I'll do whatever's necessary, and it's in improver to the 100 hours," he said.

Callejo have got already repaid the money he stole from the organization.

Following the meeting, Hammer said she was satisfied Callejo was bad for his actions, and that it was clip to travel forward.

"It's no easier for him to come back in this door than it is for us to have him come back in this door," she said.

She said that since the larceny the organisation have set numerous fiscal precautions in place.

"There's no manner this volition ever go on again," she said.

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