The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

September 24, 2013

Former township secretary gets jail for $10G theft

EBENSBURG — A former Portage Township secretary was sentenced Tuesday in Cambria County court to nine to 23 months in Cambria County Prison for taking more than $10,000 in taxpayer money for her personal use.

Lisa Flynn, 47, of the 700 block of Orchard Street, Portage, was sentenced by Judge Patrick Kiniry.

The prison sentence will be followed by five years probation, Kiniry ordered.

Flynn, who worked for the township from 2007 to March 2012, admitted taking $10,484 over a period of several years, money she said she needed to help support her and her five children.

The restitution due from Flynn totals about $20,900, a figure that reflects the more than $10,000 cost of a forensic audit conducted after the thefts were discovered.

She was charged in June 2012 with forgery, tampering with records, receiving stolen property and theft by deception.

Flynn entered a guilty plea to a single count of receiving stolen property, a felony.

At the time of the plea, she turned $7,000 over to the court with the promise to pay the remainder in payments of $400 a month.

Kiniry agreed to place Flynn on work release so she can maintain her full-time job at a personal care home and pay the remainder of the restitution.

As part of the sentencing order, Kiniry instructed the Cambria County Clerk of Courts to turn the full $7,000 already paid by Flynn over to Portage Township officials.

Normally, a portion of the restitution goes toward costs and fines, money that the county will receive from Flynn’s future payments.

In addressing Flynn, Kiniry asked, “Do you realize how much trouble you caused?”

When he asked her how she thought she would get away with stealing, she responded, “I was just desperate for my children.”

Supervisors Richard Olshavsky and Elwood Selapack, whose names she forged on township checks, were present for the sentencing and did not address the judge.

Later, speaking outside the courtroom, they said they took special care to review the township’s monthly financial activity, but Flynn was able to cover up the missing money for some time.

 “As careful as we were, as much as we went through those checks,” Olshavsky said.

As part of her duties, Flynn was responsible for issuing payroll checks and some other accounts to cover day-to-day expenses.

The supervisors said it took some time for the thefts to surface because Flynn would scan Olshavsky and Selapack’s names from checks they signed onto checks made out to her.

Kathy Mellott covers the Cambria County courthouse for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • fire_23 Investigators seek cause of West End fire

    The cause of a five-alarm fire early Monday at a vacant structure in the 500 block of Dorothy Avenue in Johnstown’s West End has not been determined, according to city fire officials.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richland seeks loan for roof, HVAC work

    Richland Township’s plans to replace the municipal building’s roof and heating and air conditioning system will cost nearly $600,000, Solicitor Gary Costlow said.

    July 22, 2014

  • Undocumented children already arriving in state

    An influx of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border is spilling over into Pennsylvania, as state officials received word Monday that more than 500 are being housed in the commonwealth.

    July 22, 2014

  • Auditor cites flaws in gas drilling regulation

    Strained by limited resources and the rapid expansion of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, environmental regulators have failed to adequately monitor well safety or to provide clear and timely information to citizens, the state auditor general said Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Driver in fatal DUI crash will serve jail time

    A Vintondale man was sentenced Tuesday in Cambria County court to serve 16 to 32 months in the county jail for a 2011 alcohol-related crash that killed a woman.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 22, 2014

  • Reade Twp. water projects receive funding

    Three water treatment systems in Cambria County will receive financial assistance from the state Department of Environmental Protection to remove acid mine drainage from nearby waterways.

    July 22, 2014

  • stoystown Tractor Fest Antique tractors chugging toward Stoystown fest

    A display of a whole lotta horsepower and pulling contests will highlight the 14th annual Antique Tractor Festival.
    Sponsored by Stoystown Lions Club and Laurel Highlands Antique Power Club, the event will be held July 31 through Aug. 3 at the Lions’ park, one-half mile east of Stoystown on Route 30.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Irish dance school wants to set toes tapping in Cambria County

    If you ever wanted to learn to dance an Irish jig, now is your chance.
    Kenny Cavanaugh School of Irish Dance, based out of Milford, Pike County, is expanding into Cambria County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Paterno son, other former assistant sue Penn State for $1M

    A son of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has sued the university over his dismissal from its coaching staff two years ago, saying he has been unfairly linked to the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

    July 22, 2014


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads