Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Former Massachusetts Municipal Library Head Charged With Embezzling $200K

Robert E. Rice Jr., 45, of Rowley, New Hampshire, has been charged with embezzling at least $200,000 from the Revere Public Library, where he had served as its longtime director. According to prosecutors, Rice purchased items for himself with library funds, such as books, DVDs, software and other items. He is alleged to have sold some of the items purchased with municipal funds on Ebay, pocketing the proceeds. Rice was indicted on 21 felony counts, including 3 counts of embezzlement by a city officer and 15 counts of procurement fraud. The misappropriations dates back to at least 2005 and continued until January 2009 when he resigned his position after being confronted with some improper purchases, including a Rolex Watch and elephant tusks. Rice had been employed by the library for 27 years, serving as director for the last 12 years.

Read the story here and here.

Update (12/28/11): Rice, now 46, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement to 18 felony counts including embezzlement by a city officer and procurement fraud and was sentenced to 6 months in prison.  Since leaving his post at the Revere Public Library, Rice took a position as director of the Pelham Library in Pelham, New Hampshire.  Shockingly, Francis Garboski, chairman of the Pelham Library trustees is quoted as saying that Rice's job will be held for him while he is serving his time.

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