Judge steps down; Former court clerk charged with stealing $36,000, drug charges

CASTILE, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Wyoming County judge is officially stepping down after disturbing allegations have surfaced against his former court clerk.

Police arrested the former Castile Court Clerk, 45-year-old Katherine Ryan, on Wednesday and accused her of two counts of third degree grand larceny, first degree tampering with public records and drug charges. Ryan, who was hired by Judge Ron Carmichael, also lives with the judge and dates his son, is accused of stealing more than $36,000 over a period of several years from the court’s bank account.

Following a public tip, police and officials performed an audit. On Wednesday, police say they had conclusive evidence and decided to raid Ryan’s residence. Police say what they found next inside the judge’s home wasn’t expected.

Police say they found over 60 marijuana plants, drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine inside the second floor of Judge Carmichael’s home. Following the raid, Carmichael announced he would be resigning effective July 31.

“It is very disappointing when people who are put in public trust resort to this alleged behavior,” Supervisor Stephen Tarbell said. “This isolated fraud should only underscore the town board’s continued resolve in making sure our town is run with integrity. This arrest is not a true reflection of the great people of Castile.”

Despite the investigation, neither Carmichael nor his wife have been charged in relation to the case. The case will be referred soon to the Judicial Conduct Commission.

Following her arraignment, a judge committed her to the Wyoming County Jail on $10,000 bail.


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