Mass. Town Official Charged In $500,000 Theft While On Probation

Some people just don't learn the lesson the first time. A pension manager in Maynard, Mass., faces felony theft charges for the second time in just months.

On Tuesday, Timothy McDaid (pictured, left) was charged with stealing $521,000 from the town's retirement fund -- a mere eight months after he pleaded guilty to stealing $177,000 from an autism charity. McDaid pleaded not guilty to stealing from the pension system, which he oversaw from 2007 until earlier this month, Boston-area TV station WFXT reports.

It's alleged that the 46-year-old wrote 128 checks totaling $521,573 from December 2010 through May.

Last November, McDaid pleaded guilty to charges of stealing money from the Asperger's Association of New England, stemming from a 2010 investigation. He was given five years probation and ordered to pay restitution.

But it appears that McDaid used some of the money he is accused of stealing from the town's pension fund to help repay that debt.

"Records show that just days before making a $75,000 payment to the probation department in 2011, he wrote a check to himself for $82,000 that was drawn on this account from the Maynard retirement system," WFXT quotes Assistant District Attorney Doug Nagengast as saying.

More striking is that McDaid's connection to Maynard's pension fund wasn't immediately discovered by local officials after his conviction on theft from the charity.

The Boston Globe reports that during sentencing last November McDaid failed to disclose that he worked as the full-time administrator for the Maynard Retirement Board, a position that paid him $60,000 a year and oversaw $26 million in assets.

A spokeswoman for district attorney's office told WFXT that prosecutors were told that McDaid worked only as a "contract employee" for the town.

The district attorney's office said prosecutors should have alerted Maynard officials to McDaid's conviction, but the connection wasn't immediately made.

State guidelines bar anyone convicted of a financial crime from acting as a custodian of a public pension, the Globe quotes an official overseeing public pension programs as saying.

McDaid's attorney in the previous case, Timothy ­Flaherty, said his client was a devoted family man who ­developed an addiction to painkillers that he'd begun taking to treat a back injury.

"He struggled with that substance abuse issue, which led to his legal difficulties in the past," Flaherty said, according to the Globe.

Still, compared to the charges against Rita Crundwell, the former comptroller in Dixon, Ill., McDaid's alleged theft seems small by comparison. Crundwell, who was paid $80,000 annually, stands accused of stealing more than $53 million during the last six years.

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