State College Employee Terminated and Criminally Charged After Joint Investigation by State College Police and Parking Departments
State College, PA –Thursday, May 24, 2018, former State College Parking Enforcement Officer was charged with theft of coins from parking meters after a joint investigation between the State College Police and Parking Departments.
The Parking Department recently upgraded the downtown on-street parking meters. This upgraded technology has enabled the Department to better audit parking funds. This additional oversight lead to the Department discovering discrepancies in revenue collected from the on-street meters and immediately contacted the State College Police Department to begin investigating the matter. The Police Department reviewed evidence that confirmed the former employee was stealing funds from downtown parking meters.
“The Borough of State College takes its responsibility of properly handling public funds very seriously and the theft of funds will not be tolerated. Integrity, honesty, accountability, transparency and high professional standards are the foundation of our organization, and I expect every staff member to be guided by these values. When we became aware of the discrepancies in our meter revenue, the State College Police and Parking Departments worked together to fully investigate and identify the person responsible for the theft of funds,” State College Borough Manager, Tom Fountaine, stated. “The employee was terminated immediately, and the State College Police Department has filed criminal charges today against the employee. I want to assure the community that we have taken swift and appropriate actions to address this issue, and we will seek full restitution of the funds.”
Rick Ward, the Director of Parking, stated, “The proper handling of parking funds is one of the fundamental responsibilities of my department, and I expect every member of my staff to keep that in mind and act accordingly at all times. Promptly after noticing the discrepancies, I began working with the Police Department to discover the cause and I am grateful for their collaboration in getting to the bottom of this matter.”
While the on-street parking meters enabled the Department to discover the discrepancies in funds, further safeguards are in the process of being implemented to supplement the existing parking meter security.
“I commend the State College Police Officers who investigated this case. Dealing with internal investigations can be very difficult; however, our Police Department will always investigate thoroughly and hold persons accountable, including Borough employees. The Officers involved performed a thorough investigation, handling this case with utmost care,” State College Police Chief, John Gardner, stated.
The former employee was interviewed and admitted to stealing public funds. The employee was immediately terminated that same day, Tuesday, May 15, and the investigation continued in order to gather additional evidence.
For more information, please contact Douglas Shontz by phone at 814-278-4723 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.