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Ricks charged with grand larceny

SCHUYLER COUNTY—Former Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce President, Crystal Ricks, was charged with grand larceny in the third degree Tuesday, March 31.Crystal Ricks
According to a press release from the Watkins Glen Police Department, Wednesday morning, Ricks was arrested and arraigned in the Watkins Glen Village Court.  She was released pending further court action.
Her position at the chamber was terminated as of March 12.  Chamber board Chairman Tom Phillips reported at the time that "the regular monthly review of the Chamber of Commerce's financial statements conducted this week revealed irregularities."
Watkins Glen Police Chief Thomas Strubble said as the case is ongoing, he does not know the total amount of money missing.  However, he explained that someone can only be charged with grand larceny in the third degree if over $3,000 is missing.

Gene Pierce, owner of Knapp Winery, Glenora Winery and on the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, announced Ricks was hired to be director of operations and public relations for Knapp Winery, March 26.  Pierce was contacted Thursday, April 2, and said Rick's arrest "is not going to affect her employment" at Knapp Winery.  Before the arrest took place Pierce said when Ricks became available, the winery decided to hire her. He cited that having previously working with her as the chamber president was one reason for employing her.  Pierce added Thursday he was still happy to have her.  He did not have any comment on the arrest itself.

Meanwhile, Maxine Neal has once again stepped up as interim president for the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce, as of March 23.  Neal has previously served as the interim president before Ricks was hired.

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