By KIM SMITH DEDAM
---- — KEENE — A former Keene elected official is in jail, suspected of grand larceny.
Lawrence R. Jaques, 63, was charged with stealing in excess of $50,000 from his employer in North Elba.
Jaques did not seek re-election when his term on the Keene Town Council ended in 2011. He also ran for town supervisor several years ago.
He had been working as a bookkeeper for Torrance Construction Co. since 2000.
Investigator Jeremy Viele with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Ray Brook said police approached Jaques at his home in Keene earlier this week and then brought him to Troop B headquarters in Ray Brook for questioning.
Viele said Jaques subsequently confessed to embezzling funds Torrance over the years that he was employed there.
He was charged with second-degree grand larceny and first-degree falsifying business records. Jaques was arraigned in North Elba Town Court and sent to Essex County Jail for lack of $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond.
“The owner of the construction company is the one who made the report after he discovered a discrepancy in bookkeeping,” Viele said.
In a press release, State Police said Jaques had reportedly been writing checks from the business to himself and then cashing them and keeping the money.
“Jaques then made false entries in the business’s records to cover up the larcenies. At the time of the report, the total amount of funds stolen was greater than $50,000,” the release said.
“There is still more work to be done to determine the extent of money stolen,” Viele said.
Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague will be assisting in the continuing investigation.
Jaques was ticketed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation last year for baiting deer and paid a $25 fine plus $75 in court-related costs.
He has been involved in community events for many years.
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