The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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April 10, 2013

Lawyer defends former Gallitzin township official, son in theft


A defense attorney is contesting criminal charges that the former secretary of Gallitzin Township stole more than $114,000 and funneled nearly $3,800 to his son.

Attorney Paul Eckenrode says 41-year-old Christopher Cuomo was paid $3,773 by the township to plow snow. Eckenrode says the township didn't file W-2s or 1099 forms for making the payments, but says that's not Cuomo's fault.

Eckenrode also represents the former Gallitzin Township secretary, 75-year-old Leonard Cuomo, who is disabled since a stroke last year and cannot communicate. That said, Eckenrode is contesting allegations that Leonard Cuomo stole the $114,000 from 2004 through 2011 by writing unauthorized checks to himself.

Both men are scheduled for a preliminary hearing April 25.

Eckenrode says Christopher Cuomo "wouldn't steal a loaf of bread, let alone the $3,700 they say he took."


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