Former Manchester town justice pleads guilty

Erica Martin pleaded guilty Monday to third-degree grand larceny over a year after she was accused of stealing more than $8,000 from the town of Manchester while carrying out her duties as town justice.

Martin became town justice in January 2016 and was charged in March 2017 with stealing from the town through fines and surcharges. The theft began during her first month on the bench and continued until Dec. 13, 2016, according to court documents.

Martin was officially disqualified and removed as town justice following her plea and conviction Monday. After she was charged, Martin had been barred from taking the bench or having access to court property finances until further notice by state Supreme Court Justice Craig Doran, administrative judge for the 7th Judicial District.

Town Supervisor Jeff Gallahan said he is glad the case is over. He and others were prepared to testify this week but didn’t need to after Monday’s plea.

Gallahan said he and Town Board member David Phillips had discovered discrepancies during a routine audit of town funds in 2017 that prompted the investigation.

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