Former fire district treasurer charged with grand larceny for spending public money at outlets

A former Ontario County fire district treasurer is accused of stealing more than $50,000 in public funds and spending at the Waterloo Premium Outlets among other places.

43-year-old Michael Mason, of Canandaigua, is charged with grand larceny in the second degree. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says Mason spent the money on tanning, TV and shopping sprees. "This public servant pocketed proceeds from chicken dinner and pancake breakfast fundraisers and abused the faith and goodwill of the local community," DiNapoli said.

DiNapoli's auditors and investigators found Mason used the money to shop the Waterloo Premium Outlets, Dark Tan salon and Zale's Jewelers. They say he spent $1,745 to pay his cable television bill and made $1,000 in purchases at Justice, a girls' clothing store.

Also, more than $7,500 in fundraising donations from three district barbecues and a pancake breakfast is unaccounted for.

Mason was arraigned in Canandaigua Town Court Friday and sent to Ontario County Jail on $5,000 bail.

Anyone with information on this investigation or any other public corruption is encouraged to contact the Comptroller's office by dialing the toll-free fraud hotline at (888) 672-4555.