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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

DiNapoli: Former Erie County Deputy Clerk Arrested for Stealing More Than $200,000 From County

March 15, 2024

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn, and Erie County Sheriff John C. Garcia announced the arrest of former Deputy Erie County Clerk Alexander McDougall for allegedly stealing over $200,000 in county funds.

“Alexander McDougall abused his position to line his own pockets, betraying Erie County residents and jeopardizing the many services and programs Erie County provides,” DiNapoli said. “Thanks to my partnership with Erie County District Attorney John Flynn and Erie County Sheriff John Garcia, he is being held accountable for his crimes.”

District Attorney Flynn said: “This defendant is accused of using his position in the Clerk’s Office to steal money from the residents of Erie County. In addition to uncovering this brazen theft, I want to commend the Erie County Comptroller’s Office as well as our partners in the New York State Comptroller’s Office and Erie County Sheriff’s Office for their work in this ongoing investigation. While uncovering financial crimes tends to be an extensive and time-consuming process, I want the public to know that I am committed to obtaining justice and restoring their trust in government.”

Sheriff Garcia said: "It is imperative that our citizens trust their public officers. That is why it was important for the Erie County Sheriff's Office to conduct a thorough review of this complex case. For several months, Detective Dan Brinkerhoff and our Investigative Services Unit did just that. I commend their work."

The Erie County Comptroller’s Office conducted an internal audit of the Erie County Clerk’s Registrar Division and referred its findings to DiNapoli’s office, requesting a multi-year forensic audit. DiNapoli’s office, in partnership with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office and the Erie County Sheriff, expanded the scope of the investigation and examined the period of Jan. 1, 2021 through June 30, 2023.

The Erie County Clerk’s Office has clerks collecting money and preparing deposit slips for the Clerk’s Office every business day. McDougall was responsible for reviewing each deposit slip and reconciling them with the daily collection reports. The clerks would place their initials on the deposit slips that they prepared, and McDougall would then prepare the deposits to be taken to the bank.

Investigators found that in hundreds of instances, nearly every day that the Clerk’s Office collected money during the examination period, cash was collected but not deposited. In most instances, the total amount of cash collected by one of the clerks was missing.

Furthermore, the investigation found that cash was deposited into McDougall’s personal bank account on several days the cash was not deposited into the county clerk’s bank account.

Investigators determined over $200,000 of recorded cash receipts were not deposited into the clerk’s account.

The investigation is ongoing as DiNapoli’s office continues to review activity back to when McDougall began in his position of deputy clerk on Jan. 1, 2019 up to Dec. 31, 2020.

McDougal was charged with grand larceny in the second degree in Erie County Court before Judge Philip Danny. His next court appearance was scheduled for April 15.

Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has committed to fighting public corruption and encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse. New Yorkers can report allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555, by filing a complaint online at, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.