By Kathryn G. Menu
The Bridgehampton School Board of Education (BOE) President Nicki Hemby has resigned from her position on that board after pleading guilty to a felony count of grand larceny from her former employer, Suburban Sanitation of Sag Harbor
According to Robert Clifford, a spokesman with the Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota’s office, Hemby, 41, of Bridgehampton, is estimated to have taken $100,000 from the company between January 1, 2009 and November 30, 2011.
Clifford said that in a sworn statement from the victim made to Southampton Town Police Detectives, Hemby used corporate credit cards for personal expenses, including plane tickets, rental cars and online purchases without consent and also gave herself an unauthorized raise in 2010.
Hemby pled guilty to the charges on June 25, according to Clifford, and was placed on probation with 280 hours of community service in lieu of 60 days in a county jail. She is also required to make restitution of $80,430.08 to Suburban Sanitation and waived her right to an appeal, said Clifford.
If she is successful in interim probation, the felony charge will be vacated and reduced to a misdemeanor, said Clifford.
On Monday, Hemby confirmed she had resigned from the board of education. The reason for her resignation, said Hemby, was because of the grand larceny plea, but also because of ongoing medical issues she has been facing.
“First let me say that I am terribly sorry for any and all who have been affected by my poor judgment,” said Hemby in a statement. “Please know that the poor choices I made years ago have no reflection on the school district, work and or my family.”
“Second I would like to apologize to the entire staff, past and present, at Suburban Sanitation,” continued Hemby. “They are a loyal, honest and hard working crew. My poor choices should have no reflection on their integrity.”
Hemby added that the Bridgehampton School District is solid, strong and determined to succeed and that she believed the school district would continue to be successful under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Lois Favre.
“Life challenged me and I failed, and in doing so I let numerous people down,” said Hemby. “I cannot change the past, but I will accept the repercussions, make right by those I have wronged and move forward. I will ask one favor from this community and that is to consider my children as this is a sensitive matter. They are kind, honest and have been model citizens and students. My choices in no way reflect their character.”
When asked for a statement about Hemby’s resignation, on Monday, Dr. Favre’s comments — via email — were reserved specifically to her tenure on the board.
“Nicki Hemby has served the Bridgehampton Board of Education selflessly as a trustee, as Vice President, and as President,” said Dr. Favre in a statement on Monday. “I thank her for her service, and her commitment to the Bridgehampton school community and our students. I understand her need to focus those energies and passion on her health and her family at this time, and respect her decision to resign.”
The Bridgehampton School Board of Education was expected to meet on Wednesday, July 3 where Lillian Tyree-Johnson was expected to be named the new president of the BOE.