Posted at: 06/05/2013 4:26 PM
Updated at: 06/05/2013 5:31 PM
By: Mark Mulholland
QUEENSBURY - Rob Spratt came to court Wednesday morning to plead guilty to stealing nearly 25-thousand dollars from the House of Grace hospice home. But he had a change of heart, at least temporarily.
"Mr. Spratt has advised me that he'd like to request an adjournment for a re-conference in the matter before he accepts the plea," said Spratt's attorney, Warren County Public Defender John Wappett.
Spratt left the courtroom to make a phone call and came back a few minutes later and decided to plead guilty as he originally intended. Admitting to Judge John Hall that he presented phony receipts to the organization he was hired to help.
Hall asked Spratt, "Were the reimbursements fair and accurate reimbursements or did you pad them? Spratt answered, "They were padded."
House of Grace had fallen on hard times and hired Spratt, who was an experienced, well-liked fundraiser, to help them raise the money they needed to stay open and keep caring for the dying.
Instead, he lined his own pockets.
"I think he needs to spend time in jail and pay back restitution. These were people that were receiving cancer treatment in their final days," said Saratoga County District Attorney Jim Murphy, who acted as special prosecutor in the case.
Spratt is a former president of the Glens Falls Rotary and played a key role in the relay-for- life fund raisers for the American Cancer Society. House of Grace expected big things from him.
"He had done a lot in the community. He'd been with a prestigious insurance agency. So he had the credentials to do anything he wanted to do," said Mark Griffin, president of the House of Grace board of directors.
As part of the plea, Spratt will be sentenced next month to six months in jail and five years probation. He'll also have to pay the money back. He declined to comment as he left court Wednesday.