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Former Dorset Village Library Board President Dorothea Kelly pled not guilty on Monday to a single embezzlement charge during her arraignment at the Bennington District Courthouse, Criminal Division. Kelly is charged with withdrawing $6,000 in cash from the library’s operating account on Sept. 9.

She was removed from the library’s Board of Directors after Library Director Erica Shott noticed the funds missing during routine financial oversight. An investigation later turned up a withdrawal slip identifying Kelly as the person who signed the slip. A series of emergency board meetings followed, with members blocking Kelly’s access to any library funds and eventually removing her from the board. A Bennington County Sheriff’s investigation followed, turning up security footage to document the case.

As of last Wednesday afternoon, all $6,000 of the missing funds had appeared back in the library’s account. When reached by email for comment, Erica Marthage, Bennington County State’s Attorney, wrote, “We always provide the opportunity to return the money prior to continuing the investigation in financial crimes and, if they return it prior to adjudication, that greatly impacts the State’s decision regarding outcome.”

Kelly faces a maximum of up to 10 years in prison, or up to $10,000 fine, or both on the single charge. When approached by the Bennington Banner after her arraignment, Kelly said, “No comment.”


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