She was arraigned at District Magistrate Andrew Hladio's courtroom and released on $10,000 unsecured bond.
According to a criminal complaint, a certified audit determined a total of $24,862 in cash was taken from the water authority over the course of three and a half years.
The water authority’s accountant initially uncovered discrepancies during an audit of 2014 financial statements.
Inconsistencies were found on 159 deposit sheets between Aug. 10, 2012 and May 12, 2015 that contained Proakis’s initials, E.P., according to a criminal complaint.
Proakis has been suspended from her job of 39 years.
Ambridge Police Chief James Mann said he was first contacted on June 25 by Dave Bell, chairman of the water authority board of directors, and met with Bell, Solicitor Garen Fedeles and General Manager Mary Hrotic. Mann said authorities previously suspected between $26,000 to $27,000 was taken.
On Wednesday, July 8, police received the detailed audit and certified analysis from Kim Turnley of the Ambridge-based Mark Turnley, CPA showing $24,862 in cash was stolen.
“When you do a financial investigation—this isn’t my first rodeo, I’ve been doing this for 30 years—you have to have the exact certified amount.”
Mann spoke to water authority officials who agreed that Proakis should pay the exact stolen amount of $24,862 in restitution.
Mann said the water authority serves nine communities and collects sewage and garbage fees in addition to water payments. He said about $7 million to $8 million flows through the water authority annually.
Proakis's defense attorney, Stephen Colafella said he was provided with a copy of the complaint on Friday.
"I had an opportunity to look at the allegations. We're going to proceed from here and see what direction the case goes," Colafella said.
A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for July 21.