Former secretary charged with stealing $81,000 from Lower Towamensing Township
A former Lower Towamensing Township secretary has been arrested on charges of stealing over $81,000 from the township.
Dorothy Achey, 61, of RD2, box 336-2 Kunkletown, was arraigned on Monday before District Judge Bruce Appleton of Palmerton on 102 counts each of theft by unlawful taking or disposition, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received, and misapplication of entrusted property and property of government or financial institutions.
Appleton ruled that Achey has to be fingerprinted by state police before her preliminary hearing, has 48 hours to file for a public offender or notify the court of a private attorney, must furnish court with an Illinois address, and must attend the Carbon County Pretrial Intervention Program through the audit probation office and follow all recommendations.
Achey remains free in lieu of $100,000 unsecured bail. No date has been set for her preliminary hearing.
Achey, who had worked for the township for more than 20 years, abruptly resigned from her position in May due to "personal reasons."
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Trooper Patrick Finn:
On May 4, township solicitor Jim Nanovic was contacted by township Supervisor Glen Hahn and advised that Achey had apparently stole $19,229.21 in April, 2009, according to the affidavit.
On June 5, Nanovic contacted Pennsylvania State Police at Lehighton to advise they wanted Achey arrested for the theft. Nanovic advised that he believed the amount to be in excess of $50,000, the affidavit says. He advised that Achey had written herself an unknown amount of checks to defraud the township of money. He advised that most of the checks were for the amount of her weekly or bi-weekly gross salary, however, she had dispersed several checks per month over the amount that her salary had allotted. Achey was "writing wages" on several of the checks. The wage amount was different on several different checks. The checks were all written by Achey from the township's checking account held with the First National Bank of Palmerton.
On June 17, an accountant report was prepared by accounting firm Kirk, Summa & Co. The report indicated that the total amount taken by Achey was $81,067.35. Achey did write in cash 102 checks ranging from Jan. 02, 2008 to April 29, 2009. The check's numbers ranged from 29190 to 30205.
On Aug. 29, Achey spoke to Finn at the Pennsylvania State Police Lehighton Station. She advised that she did steal the money from the township's bank account. She advised that she wrote at least several dozen checks to herself, cashed them herself, and no longer has the money from the thefts. She did not know the number of checks she illegally wrote to herself, nor did she know the total amount she had stolen. She advised that she had been taking money from the account since early 2008.