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Former Commissioner on Trial for Theft

Posted on: 6:14 pm, July 16, 2012, by , updated on: 06:48pm, July 16, 2012

LOCK HAVEN — A jury in Clinton County listened to testimony Monday in the trial of a former County commissioner charged in the disappearance of money from the Lock Haven Area YMCA.

The former commissioner even took the stand in his own defense.

Closing arguments are set for Tuesday morning and the men and women who used to be Adam Coleman’s constituents will decide his fate.

Coleman was the chairman of the Board of Commissioners in Clinton County until theft charges derailed his political career.

Coleman is on trial in the same county where he served as commissioner. A Clinton County jury listened to opening statements, during which prosecutors called Coleman “selfish.”

Prosecutors with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General claimed that selfishness led Coleman to conspire to steal money from the YMCA. Coleman’s attorney said his client was gullible, but that is not a crime.

First on the stand was Jerry Clark. He was the director of the YMCA in Lock Haven and pleaded guilty to stealing more than $100,000 from the organization.

Clark told jurors he and Adam Coleman got a grant through the Elks Club where Coleman was Exalted Ruler. That money was supposed to be used for an after-school fitness program at the Y.

Prosecutors showed jurors a copy of a check made out to Coleman for nearly $1,400 of that money back in late 2007.

Coleman said he never cashed the check but his signature was on the back. The program at the YMCA never took place.

Clark also testified that Coleman needed money to pay an overdue country club bill.

That’s where Coleman’s mother comes in. She made up a fake invoice that Clark said he used to write a check from the YMCA to Adam Coleman.

Kimberly Coleman was convicted of related charges earlier this year.

Before Adam Coleman took the stand, jurors saw a note he wrote to investigators that talked about the YMCA money and said: “I know it was wrong. But I needed to take care of the bill and was out of options.”

When Coleman took the stand he told jurors the fake invoice was an IOU and that he thought the more than $1,400 from the YMCA was a loan and he paid it back.

Adam Coleman was a commissioner in Clinton County for four years and lost a re-election bid this last fall.

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