DEWITT, N.Y. (AP) — The former executive director of an animal welfare organization based in Syracuse has been charged with stealing more than $400,000 from the agency.

Paul Morgan pleaded not guilty to second-degree grand larceny at his arraignment Friday in the town of DeWitt. The former Central New York SPCA employee was released on his own recognizance. Another former employee, Taylor Gilkey, pleaded not guilty to the same charge.

The Onondaga County District Attorney's Office began investigating after the agency's treasurer discovered financial inconsistencies earlier this summer and turned over the findings to the office. Morgan and Gilkey were terminated from their jobs.

Morgan's lawyer says his client is not guilty and is unaware of the details of the investigation. Gilkey's lawyer declined to comment after the arraignment.

[STORY BY: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]