Jersey Shore city worker stole $75K from taxpayers, officials say
🔴 A code enforcement officer is accused of stealing over $75,000
🔴 She took cash from citizens and businesses, prosecutors said
🔴 The money was intended to pay for city permits
VENTNOR CITY — A code enforcement officer for a city down the shore is accused of stealing over $75,000 and has been charged with official misconduct.
Michelle Calderon, 37, works for Ventnor City. She earns a salary of $45,200 a year and has worked for Ventnor City since 2013, according to state records.
Calderon, who lives in Egg Harbor Township, is charged with second-degree pattern of official misconduct, second-degree official misconduct, second-degree misapplication of entrusted property, and second-degree altering computer software to commit theft. She was arrested Tuesday.
Calderon is accused of taking cash from citizens and businesses who thought they were paying fees for city permits and keeping the money for herself. The thefts took place from 2021 through 2023, according to the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office.
To cover her tracks, Calderon used a city computer to alter balance sheets, prosecutors said.
The arrest comes after the city noticed a "discrepancy" in its finance records, the officials said.
"Ms. Calderon has been suspended pending the outcome of the criminal charges that have been filed," City Administrator Tom Ciccarone said.
The investigation was handled by the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office and Ventnor police.