Former town clerk sentenced to prison time in complicated small town scandal

CASTILE, N.Y. (WIVB) — After not appearing for her first sentencing hearing, former Castile Town Clerk will be heading to prison for stealing thousands from her town.

The sentencing marks the end of a long, complicated case for Katherine Ryan, 46, who admitted to stealing $36,000 from the Town of Castile, among other offenses. Police in Wyoming County first announced the investigation into Ryan and the local court system in July.

Officials arrested Ryan, who town judge Ron Carmichael hired, on charges of theft and misappropriated funds. The case led Carmichael to step down, as police announced they raided the judge’s home and found a marijuana grow operation inside. That raid only resulted in the arrest of Carmichael’s son, who had a longstanding romantic relationship with Ryan.

Ryan eventually pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny, first-degree tampering with public records and official misconduct. She didn’t show up to be sentenced to those crimes.

After she returned to police custody and agreed to be sentenced, Judge Michael Griffith sentenced her to serve between two and six years behind bars, which is beyond what her original plea deal allowed.

Officials say by not appearing for her first sentencing, she voided her plea deal cap.

“For far too long, people in Ms. Ryan’s position have been treated with kid gloves. The public is tired of corrupt government officials and the message that is continuing to be sent by my office and now the court system is that this behavior will not be tolerated,” Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O’Geen said.

Ryan will be required by law to repay $36,000 to an insurance company which repaid the Town of Castile for the funds she stole.

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