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Township will continue receiving payments for money that was stolen

Published September 14. 2011 05:01PM

Lower Towamensing Township will continue to receive monthly payments from its former secretary/treasurer who stole over $81,000 in township funds.

The township's board of supervisors unanimously agreed on Tuesday to adopt a stipulation whereby Dorothy Achey must make monthly payments to the township to pay off the $81,067 she took from it.

Township solicitor Jim Nanovic said he has been in contact with Achey, who had been employed by the township for over 20 years before she was sentenced to a prison term in April 2010 after she previously admitted to the crime.

At that time, Achey, formerly of Kunkletown, was sentenced by Carbon County Senior Judge Richard W. Webb to serve six to 23 months in county prison, and to repay the township the $81,067.

Nanovic said it would be in the township's best interest to agree to have Achey pay the full $81,067, which includes a six-percent interest rate since June 1, 2009, rather than going through trial.

"The township sued her and her husband; they don't have any more, they lost their house," Nanovic said. "We don't have anything to prove that he [John Achey] had anything to with this."

As per the agreement, Nanovic said Achey will continue to pay $150 a month, $75 of which goes to the township, while the other $75 is paid to the county. Once the county is paid in full, Achey will then pay $150 a month to the township, he said.

In the event Achey moves to Illinois, she will pay $350 a month, Nanovic said.

At that, resident Herman Bollinger stated a profanity in reference to the township, which triggered a heated response from former Supervisor Gerry Madden.

Madden told Bollinger "this was a situation where business was always done the same way."

Supervisors Chairman Ron Walbert concurred with Madden's sentiment that in years past, matters were always handled in the same manner.

"She's a confessed convicted felon, and as a result, she took from the township," Walbert said. "We hired an auditing firm, and they didn't catch anything."

Walbert said the situation was costly not only to the township, but Achey as well.

"It was a learning experience; a very expensive one," Walbert said. "The sad part about it is Mrs. Achey got no personal gain out of it."

In other business, supervisors:

- Agreed to spend $7,000 to purchase a used chipper.

- Announced that a switch to a new electricity supplier has resulted in a $100 savings per month to the township in its light fund.

- Agreed to advertise for adoption a knox box ordinance.

- Approved several Recreation Committee recommendations.

- Agreed to grant a six-month extension to the AT&T plan.

- Granted a garbage exemption to John Fisher.

- Approved the repository sale of tax parcel 29-33-11 LSD 2.

- Agreed to rebid for diesel, gas and heating oil.

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