The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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July 30, 2013

Officials nix payment offer in alleged twp. thefts

EBENSBURG — Lisa Flynn, the former Portage Township secretary-treasurer, showed up at the courthouse on Tuesday with $8,000 in the hopes that she would be placed on Cambria County’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program.

The problem was, that represented only about half the total due to replace money she allegedly stole – including more than $10,000 of taxpayer money – while working for the township, Supervisor Richard Olshavsky said.

“When you add in the cost of the forensic audit, it totals $20,800,” Olshavsky said.

Olshavsky and Supervisor Elwood Selapack said they want to see the township fully reimbursed as part of any plea deal.

Defense attorney Michael Filia’s request for a continuance was denied by Judge Patrick Kiniry, and Flynn was ordered to show up Thursday for jury selection for her trial.

Filia later said he hopes to work something out before then but provided no specifics.

The case already has been postponed five times.

A sixth continuance was opposed by Cambria County Assistant District Attorney Beth Bolton Penna.

Flynn, 47, of the 700 block of Orchard Street, Portage, was charged in May 2012 with forgery, tampering with records, receiving stolen property and theft by deception.

Authorities allege she stole $10,484 from the township during the time she was employed there from 2007 until March 2012.

Flynn was responsible for issuing payroll checks and checks for day-to-day expenses. Authorities alleged she forged names on checks and deleted copies from township records. The thefts were uncovered during a routine audit by Wessel and Co., authorities said.

Flynn remains free on $50,000 unsecured bond.

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