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Top county welfare official faces Misconduct, Forgery charges

Suspect was a crime-fighter

— Warren County Commissioner of Social Services Sheila M. Weaver was arrested Friday Aug. 5 and charged with Official Misconduct, two felony counts of second-degree Forgery, and two counts of second-degree Offering a False Instrument for Filing, authorities said.

The arrests were based on incidents related to her alleged involvement in obtaining public assistance for two individuals who had recently been living in her household, and another associate, county Sheriff Bud York announced mid-afternoon Aug. 5.

Weaver, 47, lives at 1356 state Rte. 28 in Warrensburg.

County officials said that the arrest came as a shock because Weaver, during her tenure as Commissioner, had played a key role in rooting out fraudulent welfare applications, instituted new standards for employees, and worked to slash costs and consolidate the bureaucracy of the Social Services Department.

The two people who had lived in her household were also charged in the case, police said.

Earlier this week, Belinda M. Redfeather, 51, and Kenneth J. Redbird, 43, both of 425 Glen St. Apt. 85, Glens Falls, were charged in the case. Redfeather was charged with first-degree Offering a False Instrument for Filing, Petit Larceny and fifth-degree Welfare Fraud, police said. Redfeather obtained a public assistance benefit fraudulently, according to York.

Redbird was charged with first-degree Offering a False Instrument. Both were issued appearance tickets returnable at 9 a.m. Aug. 22 in Queensbury Town Court.

The investigation into the activities of the three began in June when the Warren County Sheriff's Office received a report from family members of an elderly woman who had been staying with Weaver. The complainant had voiced concern that the woman might have been taken advantage of.

Investigators then determined that Redfeather and Redbird had lived at Weaver's house, but in July had applied to Warren County Social Services for temporary Assistance to help them move into an apartment of their own, police said.

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