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Video Shows Tinsley Taking Cash; First Selectman Calls Clip Misleading

Video from a surveillance camera shows Brookfield's new First Selectman taking money. He says the short clip doesn't tell the whole story.

Video Credit: Brewfest Beverage
Video Credit: Brewfest Beverage
After news surfaced that newly elected First Selectman Bill Tinsley was facing criminal charges in Vermont — accused of stealing approximately $500 while working part-time at a Ludlow liquor store — the store owner stated he had video evidence of the act.

The video [posted above] shows Tinsley making a deposit into the store safe at the end of the night on Feb. 17, 2012. Before depositing the envelopes, Tinsley is seen taking four bills out of the purse and putting them into his pocket.

Brewfest Beverage Co. manager Michael Bailey said the clip is the clearest piece of evidence against Tinsley — as he did not know about the infrared camera above the safe — and computer system records show an attempt to hide discrepancies.

“There’s an assumption being made that what I was taking out was not mine,” Tinsley said Wednesday, stating that he would make change for the register when necessary throughout the day, sometimes from his own wallet.
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Tinsley pleads 'no contest' in Vermont, maintains innocence.
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“Sometimes people came in with cash and I ran out of singles,” he said. The video footage shown is “me reimbursing myself — I believe it’s about $7 or $8.”

“Ask anyone with a retail business — that happens all the time,” he said.

Tinsley asserted that the short video clip does not tell the whole story, as it doesn’t show him taking money from his pocket to make change for customers.

“That little snippet by itself is nothing,” he said. “And it doesn’t portray what he [Bailey] says it does.”

With the case closed and the record set to be expunged after 11 months, Tinsley is looking to put this behind him and begin the work of the town as First Selectman.

“When I went up [to the Vermont courthouse] on that Tuesday [Nov. 26] it was to end it,” Tinsley said of the 22-month trial. “The court is satisfied with the deal, the record will be expunged and it’s time to move forward.”

“He [Bailey] is an angry man. I’m angry too,” Tinsley said of being accused. “He’s angry at me but I am not the source of his anger.”

“I am sorry that Brookfield has had to go through this experience,” Bailey said after the case was closed. “Bill Tinsley has stated in the press that I am an angry man. He is mistaken.”

Bailey said he came forward with information about the charges “because I felt it my duty to do so, not as an effort to harm him personally. I feel sorry for him and especially for his family but that does not supersede the needs of your community to have the information.”

“Had he [Tinsley] not sought public office I would not have come forward with the information,” Bailey said. “Had he stepped down I would not have released the video.”
Concerned December 05, 2013 at 04:20 PM
@Ryen just keep ignoring facts like the rest of the repubs on here and state whatever you like. I am however impressed by your "legal prowess" in using wiki challenge to counter Kathy's actual disclosure of VT law. Well played sir, well played!
Kurt Randall December 05, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Hopefully Ethics steps up and does what right for the people of Brookfield and not the Politics of Brookfield . In my book once a thief always a thief you can apologize all you want or say you were innocent but the video and courts state other in my book. Trust and time will tell !
Ryen December 05, 2013 at 04:25 PM
@ Con-cornered: Vermont statutes are not the source of "nolo contendre" concepts -- so you too are "wrong" -- not so well-played. Better read up on origins to debate.... ;)
Glenn Brown December 05, 2013 at 04:33 PM
That's it? Making fun of my homage to SD? That must mean you have no argument for my reasonable commentary. Thank you for agreeing with me on everything.
Pokeno Ridge December 05, 2013 at 04:52 PM
"misdemeanor on a frivolous charge and circumstantial evidence that makes no business sense for "anyone who worked in retail" It actually does make sense - just not for the business. A customer comes in and buys a $20 bottle of vodka. Bill the cashier takes the money, voids the transaction (meaning it never occured) and puts the money in the drawer. At the end of the night Bill takes the $20 out of the drawer. The only discrepancy is the loss of one Vodka bottle from the stores inventory in relation to the transactions that occured. It would make sense to take out only the amount that was voided throughout the day, hence the counting of the money as it was being sealed and put into the safe. I can kinda get Tinsley's excuse of making change from his own pocket when he was at the register if there was 1) video evidence of that and 2) some notification to the owner that he was doing so or did it. I mean you don't usually see employees make change from their own pockets aside from petty change in my times working at retail, but a small mom+pop store can be run differently. At the very least it proves that Bill makes terrible judgement calls on whether to say important things like "I took money from the drawer for X" or "I have been charged with a felony/misdemeanor" to people like bosses or voters.
Jay December 05, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Ryen - just by saying things does not make it true. You are trying to argue that the law is not the law and that the facts are not the facts. You carry no credibility and I for one look at you as a fanatical lunatic who only serves to distract from the topic at hand. For goodness sake, you state " I am not anonymous--better check again" when your name is just, "Ryen"! How much less credibility can a person hold? Since you like to call people out for being anonymous, if you are NOT anonymous, here is a direct question that you will undoubtedly avoid: What is your full name? (By the way, only friends call me Jay Jay, so go back to a different one). Let's get this back on topic and no more of Ryen distracting people from the facts at hand. What shall we do as a town to right this horrible wrong? We have two other selectman that are willing and capable to do this job. If people don't like Davidson because of his sign incident, then why not Flynn? Just not a proven lying criminal like Tinsley...
Skyhawk December 05, 2013 at 05:20 PM
What is going on around here?? A BOE member in Ridgeifled was just arrested for shoplifting. A BOS member in Wilton was arrested for drugs. A coach in Darien for DUI and hitting a police officer. And now this from Brookfield! Holy cow! We need to get these people out of positions of authority!
Tara Reilly December 05, 2013 at 06:11 PM
Sometimes people came in with cash and I ran out of singles,” he said. The video footage shown is “me reimbursing myself — I believe it’s about $7 or $8.” Mr. Tinsley the third bill in your hand is not a single or a $5 bill. It is a $20 bill. Please step down
Skyhawk December 05, 2013 at 06:23 PM
I'm told there is a law which prevents a Selectman from being impeached. Who made this law - obviously the Selectmen. This law needs to be overturned immediately.
Kathy Wandelmaier December 05, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Ryen, since you're so good at Latin, Si hoc signum legere potes, operis boni in rebus Latinus alacribus et fructuosis potiri potes!
Josh December 05, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Obviously you have never worked in retail or known anyone who has or owns a retail business. There is absolutely NO circumstance when an employee is to EVER use their own personal money to make change. That is an instant termination offense in any business where cash is handled. Retail operators know from experience how much change and what type of denominations they need to leave on hand. Another word, the likelihood of being able to claim there were not enough $1, $5, $10 or $20 on hand to make change is not reasonable. If this was truly money that was owed him, don't you think it would have been much better for both the deposit of his personal funds and the reimbursement to have been done in the open on the register at the time he closed out? Doing this at the time of the deposit to the safe, the last step, does create questions. Is this a case, of wait a minute I forgot I put $xx dollar in the register and forgot to take it out when I balanced? This sounds a bit weak to me. There are several steps that should have been taken to avoid any confusion. First, when change is added to a register it needs to be recorded as an addition to the register balance. This addition becomes part of the daily close out process. The add cash and cash pick up features are not some high level feature. They are common to ALL POS computerized registers. Secondly, written documentation could have been included with the closing envelope specifying the fact that he had to add $xx dollars of his own money and then reimbursed himself back when he closed out. If he did not get reimbursed for personal funds there would be a cash overage. If he did reimburse himself for the exact amount of personal change the register would balance as even, no difference. However, if incorrect change is made to someone or money is simply removed from a register it will show as short cash. My understanding is that the register closed short on multiple occasions and by more than a few dollars. If there was an inability to open or close the register properly either someone else would be assigned that task or the employee would be terminated after too many errors. Lastly, in the VERY unlikely case that there might not be enough change on hand the smart play by a clerk level store employee would be to tell a customer that they are sorry for the inconvenience of not being able to make change temporarily and that they will need to use a debit or credit card. As far as the hidden camera that is the WHOLE concept of video monitoring. It's hidden. The objective is to be able to see what is NOT supposed to happen. There is NO reason or need for Mr. Bailey to post ANY information on the camera or techniques used in monitoring his employees. Do you really think you have the right to privacy on your job? Re read your company policy on use of electronic and communication devices. Re read the policy on their right to monitor your performance electronically. While I do not think Mr. Tinsley will or should be forced out of office I do have to say this video DOES look bad.
Skyhawk December 05, 2013 at 09:28 PM
This makes me so furious! Brookfield cannot have a First Selectman take office under these circumstances. NO. NO. NO. Where's the Republican party on this? You should be standing up and demanding he step down, or I will never vote for any of your candidates ever again! This man cannot take the job of First Selectman!!!! If I have to go to every meeting and boo the man I will. Everyone should!
Concerned December 06, 2013 at 09:57 AM
@ryen - (notice I'm not doing the juvenile thing you do of purposely misspelling screen names - but keep it up and we will start to refer to you as "tool"). So now you are arguing concepts and not fact (wait have you ever argued with a real fact)? You are unreal. I quote your previous posts: "6. Again people: “nolo contendre” does not mean “guilty” in any fashion whatsoever. If you make broad-brushed statements not tied to the actual crimes alleged, then you should be ashamed of yourself—simple as that." yet VT law says your are WRONG (thank you Kathy): "VERMONT STATUTES AND CODES § 1710 - Nolo contendere pleas A plea of nolo contendere accepted by the court shall constitute a conviction, for the purposes of this title." So you don't have to admit you are wrong, we can simply infer from your lack of facts and conceptual spin that you plead no contest to being a moron.
Jonathan Williams December 06, 2013 at 10:22 AM
Does anyone notice the mysterious absence of Mr. Devaux?
Concerned December 06, 2013 at 11:08 AM
@jonathan - refreshing isn't it. BTW, I like to refer to him as "he who must not be named"
The Watcher December 06, 2013 at 12:42 PM
LOL, he gots dat ca$h AND he's still your 1st selectman, trollolololololololololololol. Tinsley FTW.
Skyhawk December 06, 2013 at 01:12 PM
Somebody point me in the right direction. I know painfully little about how the town runs. I'm no Gandhi, but I want to protest. Do the Selectmen have a weekly meeting? Where is it? Is it listed on a calendar somewhere? Is the public allowed to speak? Is the public allowed to heckle? I want to be heard. I want to shout. I want to embarrass them to the point where they throw this gentleman out of the room.
bkmom December 06, 2013 at 01:15 PM
It doesn't matter what political persuasion you are - there are really important concerns here. Firstly, Mr Tinsley should have disclosed fully any proceedings regarding him before he ran for office so enabling the voting public to make their own decisions. The lack of transparency suggests very poor judgement on his part. Brookfield cannot have someone with poor judgement as First Selectman. Secondly, the First Selectman has a huge financial oversight responsibility. As such, this court case with Mr Tinsley, I am sure, will have caused voters to think whether they want someone like that in charge of our town's finances. Pleading no contest to something is used hundreds of times a day around this country by people who know the substance of the evidence and want the easiest and least consequential option when it comes to punishment. 'No contest' in law means you are not contesting the case because you accept the facts and are conceding the charges before the court without disputing them. It means that you don't admit or deny anything but you believe that at a hearing the State will prove its case. Judgement, transparency and precise financial governance are necessary to be First Selectman. Even by having this drag on, Mr Tinsley unfortunately is having a detrimental effect on the town and the reputation of what a First Selectman should be. Anyone with any credibility, conscience and who wishes to put Brookfield first instead of himself, would have submitted his resignation - for the good of the voters and all who were misled by him. People should stop sniping at each other via the comments and look at the bigger picture. I had no big leaning towards either candidate or party – but I do have a problem with what has transpired and the First Selectman's attitude and behavior since.
Bobby Caselnova December 06, 2013 at 03:14 PM
I can't believe anybody could still defend this man after this. I wanted to give Tinsley the benefit of the doubt when this story first came to light, even after he said he was planning on pleading "no contest" even though most innocent men wouldn't do so, I wanted to believe that he just wanted to get the case over with and behind him. But nobody can deny that this video shows a clear cut case of theft, and Mr.Tinsley needs to resign for two reasons. First, for stealing from his own employer (how can we the citizens of Brookfield, as his new employers, trust him at all?) And second for thinking even for one second that we would be stupid enough to believe his explanation for what we saw in that video. By trying to sell the explanation he tried and is trying to sell us, he is insulting our intelligence thinking we'll buy it. I'm no democrat (not a republican either, I hate both parties but I do hate the democrats a lot more) and I voted for Tinsley and really did want to give him the benefit of the doubt at first, as the justice system sometimes makes good people sound pretty bad, but the video doesn't lie. There can't be any question that this was theft. He needs to step down, although I'd hate to see a democrat take his position, another democrat in office again would be a disaster. Maybe Mr. Flynn should take his seat. But this criminal who tries to deceive the people he's supposed to serve, as well as even the people of his own party, apparently can't be trusted by anybody and thinks we're all stupid and incapable of thinking for ourselves. Does he really think we're going to read his explanation for what we all saw in this video and say "oh, OK" and just forget about it? Mr. Tinsley, if you have any integrity at all you would step down knowing that now that the whole town, including everybody who voted for you, as well as everyone who voted against you, knows what you did and no longer wants you to be our first selectman. By not stepping down you're essentially giving the whole town the middle finger and saying "well I don't HAVE TO, so even though it's the right thing to do I'm not so that I can put MYSELF and MY OWN I interests above the rest of the town's." We as voters need to be able to recall and impeach our politicians as we please, there is no reason that those options should not be legally available to us as voters. Since they're not, this is what we get, a politician can win an election by a very small margin of votes, then right after the election we can find out they committed crimes and are not honest or trustworthy at all, and then it's completely up to that politician to do the right thing and resign or else we're stuck with them and can't do a damn thing about it.
Concerned December 06, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Yep, triple AAA rating, nationally recognized schools and town have been a disaster Bobby.
BobCat December 06, 2013 at 04:28 PM
Bobby - very well said. My sentiments exactly. However, I think there is no way he will resign on his own. He obviously needs the job. My feeling all along has been that, as a person, I feel bad for him. It's obviously been a very bad 2-3 years. As a voter and a taxpayer I'm made as heck. He should have trusted us, told us, and let us make our own decisions. Now we have a case where the cover-up is worse than the crime.
John Q. Public December 06, 2013 at 05:55 PM
A picture is truly worth a thousand words and a video even more. Mr. T is just biding time until Brookfield taxpayers and the RNC pony up a severance package and release offer, at which point Mr. T will tender his resignation 'to spend more time with family' and disappear, cashing out and saving face at the same time. Sad but true, that's how companies get rid of executives. But still a better deal for Brookfield who could loose a lot more from the cookie jar - directly or indirectly. And the RNC can tap into national campaign funds so this doesn't spread and impugn the Republican Party in 2014 . Wait and watch...
Skyhawk December 06, 2013 at 06:15 PM
No severance package! Absolutely not! If he doesn't step down like a man, can we do what they did in Toronto, take away all power? The Finance guys can withhold all money, the other BOS members could avoid a quorum at the meetings. Etc.
Bobby Caselnova December 08, 2013 at 12:15 PM
Yeah "concerned," because democrats have proven to be SO fiscally responsible...
CMM December 08, 2013 at 05:44 PM
Per Vermont statute" I understand that by pleading GUILTY I admit that I committed the essential parts of the offense(s) with which I have been charged. I understand that by pleading NOLO CONTENDERE I do not deny that I committed the essential parts of the charge(s"
bkmom December 08, 2013 at 06:21 PM
What I find most saddening is that we are still having this conversation after such an amount of time and are still waiting to see if Mr Tinsley will make the correct judgement call and stand down. The lack of a resignation thus far is making the individual and the town look even more farcical.
lhgoo December 15, 2013 at 08:14 PM
What a joke..... If more people voted idiots like Tinsley wouldn't get in
Ethan Darling January 21, 2014 at 08:53 AM
This is unreal and a total farce. Tinsley wouldn't even need to steal that money. I've known that man for years, and he was never anything short of an upstanding law-abiding citizen. Furthermore, he was a VERY clever man. He would never steal a measly thousand dollars let alone half of that or less. Let's even say hypothetically that there was a dishonest bone in this man's body, he wouldn't a) steal so little, and b) be so obvious about it. He certainly would not have risked jail over 500 bucks, he's an all or nothing kind of guy. Lastly, the man only released the video because he held public office. Dragging his family through this is terrible, this man has been through enough already. I support Bill Tinsley, the man who has done nothing but GIVE BACK.
Ethan Darling January 21, 2014 at 08:59 AM
Furthermore he's not wrong, for anyone that has worked in a non-corporate cash business of any kind, sometimes you just run out of change in the till and to save time pull from your pocket. In the end it is inventory vs money recorded. -3 years working the register of Jay Country Store, Jay, VT -6 years in the restaurant business
Pokeno Ridge January 22, 2014 at 01:49 AM
So you are saying that our first selectman is so clever, that he stole MORE than the amount alleged because he is so clever? I will spot a dollar or so for a customer at my register, but if you are pulling 500 bucks out of your pocket in a given night to make change to be reimbursed later, you are working for a tyrant of a store owner or are a terribly stupid employee. - 8 years of retail, 26 years of a rational human being.

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