Ohioville Police Chief Ronald Lutton is now facing felony charges. Pennsylvania State Police charged Chief Lutton, age 57, with one Felony count of Theft by Deception, and one Misdemeanor count of Forgery.
According to an Affidavit of Probable Cause filed in the case today by State Trooper Eric Weller, Ohioville Secretary Maureen Hapach was processing payroll records for the police department back in July of 2012. It was then, according to the report, that she noticed Chief Lutton’s name appearing on hearing notices that had previously been submitted in prior pay periods. She decided to pull all of Lutton’s payroll sheets for 2012, and saw that several of the same hearing notices had been used as many as four times, but that the dates and times on the notices had allegedly been altered. She compared the hearing notices to those submitted by other officers in the department, and said she noticed discrepancies in their appearance. She said the notices seem to have been altered with a typewriter.
Hapach then contacted Ohioville Borough Officer Nevine Beatty, who she felt was trustworthy. Officer Beatty began to investigate. During the course of his investigation, Beatty allegedly found that several of the hearing slips were for cases that had been disposed of long before the date and time listed on the notices submitted for overtime by Chief Lutton. Officer Beatty contacted the Pennsylvania State Police.
According to the report, further investigation by Troopers revealed there were approximately 100 hearing notices that had been altered and turned in by Chief Lutton. The investigation also allegedly revealed that Chief Lutton had submitted timesheets claiming he was working at Ohioville Borough when he was instead working for Brighton Township as a member of the road crew.
The Pennsylvania State Police allege that Chief Lutton submitted fraudulent timesheets between 2009 and 2012 totaling $25,912. The amount contributed to the pension fund was an additional $19,147. Troopers allege Lutton defrauded Ohioville taxpayers by a total of $45,059.
Court records show Chief Lutton is being represented by defense attorney Myron Sainovich. Lutton was released on his own recognizance. A preliminary hearing in the case has been scheduled for March 7th.
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