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Merrimack Valley

December 14, 2006

Andover lawyer accused of stealing from Little League

ANDOVER - A West Andover lawyer faces charges he bilked a local Little League out of $423,000.

Wilfred Daley, the former president of Tewksbury Youth Baseball, stole the money from 2002 through 2006 by writing checks to himself from the league's account and using its debit card to make personal purchases, according to indictments handed up by a Middlesex County grand jury.

The indictments came at the end of an eight-month investigation into the league by Tewksbury police and the Middlesex district attorney's office - and they marked the latest in a series of troubles for Daley this year.

The state Board of Bar Overseers suspended his right to practice law in June, after he did not respond to investigators looking into his handling of a client's money. The client had complained to the board that Daley had failed to account for $18,000 from the sale of her marital home, according to court records.

Also in June, Daley and his wife lost their home at 9 Fiske St. in a foreclosure. Andover police have since sent the building inspector to secure the vacant house because it was open and "a mess" inside, Chief Brian Pattullo said.

"That place is a dump," he said.

Tewksbury police began their investigation after Town Manager David Cressman received complaints from the owner of a sporting goods store about a $40,000 bill that Tewksbury Youth Baseball had delayed paying since March 2005.

Kip Newcomb, owner of Athletic Sports in Billerica, had done business with the league during the years Daley was president. Newcomb never had a problem before the unpaid bill, but he had his doubts about whether Daley's practices were "on the up and up," he said.

"I got the impression it was a dictatorship over there," he said. "He ran it, and that was that."

The league eventually paid the bill after Daley left the presidency, said Newcomb, who has been following the investigation all year.

"It's sad to see it, to take away from the kids," he said.

Tewksbury Youth Baseball is a private, nonprofit organization not affiliated with the town, Cressman said. League President Frank Flanagan and Vice President Don Scheipers did not return phone calls seeking comment yesterday, and nobody returned a message left on the league's answering machine.

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