Putney Family Services investigation results in embezzlement charge

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PUTNEY — A woman who was the executive director of Putney Family Services is expected in Windham Superior Court, Criminal Division to answer charges that she embezzled money from the non-profit agency.

According to a press release from the Windham County Sheriff's Office, Patricia Field, 63, of Hinsdale, N.H., will be arraigned in court on March 22.

No other information is available at this time, but Corporal Melissa Evans of the Windham County Sheriff's Office noted in her press release that the investigation is ongoing.

Kate Cleghorn, the co-chairwoman of PFS' board of directors and its treasurer, discovered the discrepancies that led to the investigation. She said Field was the executive director from June 2011 to Jan. 8, 2015.

She said while the allegations are distressing, Putney Family Services will continue to provide services to the community.

"We are still open and providing services and most recently provided help to a family that was burned out of their home," she said.

Currently, PFS has two part-time people on staff and is discussing who should take over as executive director, said Cleghorn. PFS is supported by a variety of grants and donors in the community and also conducts its own fundraising.

"We are very grateful for the support from the community and we hope to continue to serve the community," she said. "We hope we don't lose their support because of this incident."

Putney Family Services' mission is to "identify and address the factors that promote the healthy development of children."

Mike Mrowicki, who worked at PFS for 12 years, said the allegations against Field hurt everyone who works in human services and for non-profit agencies. However, he noted, "There are a lot of good people in Putney. PFS will survive."

According to its website, PFS connects parents to parent education groups, education and enrichment activities, family advocacy and support and many other services that promote healthy family environments. PFS also serves the wider community with crisis response and referral services and the Putney Community Health Connections, a resource and referral clinic. PFS works in collaboration with other agencies to serve our community, providing tools and opportunities for children to be successful in all facets of their lives and provide the attachments and connections for children and families to promote their healthy development.

Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 160.


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