WEST WYOMING — The current police chief and a former police chief of a borough in Luzerne County now face theft charges.
Authorities accuse the two men of collecting double the amount they were supposed to receive in several paychecks.
Stanley Sipko, the current chief of the West Wyoming police department, and David Gashi, the former chief of the department both face theft charges.
The two are accused of receiving double paychecks between 2005 and 2009. That, combined with Gashi’s extra pension money, totals more than $41,000 according to court papers.
“I think originally it could have been a clerical error but when you get nine of them continuously every Friday you know that`s not normal,” said Trooper Tom Kelly of the Pennsylvania State Police Wyoming barracks.
The West Wyoming borough council president said soon as discrepancies were shown in the payroll accounts back in 2009, they were turned right over to state police. She also says she hopes to recover that $41,000 because in the community where the annual budget is less than $1 million that money can go a long way.
People who live in West Wyoming said they’re not surprised by the charges despite former chief David Gashi’s decades of service.
“I don`t think they should arrest him. I think they should just pay the money back and that`s about it because the time he spent there was 40 years and he did a good job but like anything else corruption is involved in this,” said John Kundrat of West Wyoming.
“It seems like this area the corruption has gone through the roof and at least the stuff is getting done. We are arresting people and there are FBI investigations and state police investigations so as sad as it is to see so many people you should trust violating the public`s trust there are good cops still out there,” added Trooper Kelly.
Chief Stanley Sipko has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by West Wyoming borough council. Both men face felony theft charges and are free on bail.