WILKES-BARRE — Many people are asking why U.S. Secret Service agents served subpoenas at Wednesday night’s school board meeting in Wilkes-Barre. The simple answer: it’s part of their job.
Two federal Secret Service agents sat through the entire school board meeting in Wilkes-Barre. According to superintendent Dr. Jeff Namey, they served at least four subpoenas.
Namey said the subpoenas are for billing records pertaining to former solicitor Anthony Lupas and current solicitor Raymond Wendolowski.
A federal grand jury is already investigating Lupas for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme and bilking private investors out of millions of dollars. His bills to the district increased dramatically in his final years as solicitor, peaking in 2011 at $328,000.
Namey also said the feds want information on John Quinn, Jr., a past part-time teacher in the district, and the son of a current school board member. Quinn applied for a full-time teaching position, but the board did not hire him at Wednesday’s meeting. They did hire him as a summer school teacher.
Newswatch 16 asked Wendolowski about his name allegedly being in at least one of the subpoenas. He said his bills increased because of extra work involving truancy reports and fighting district-litigated tax appeals. He also said he has no say in the hiring of district employees, and he feels confident an ongoing audit into the billing increases by Lupas and him will match the work he performed, but would not comment on the work done by Lupas.
The Secret Service routinely investigates federal crimes involving fraud, and it appears that’s what the two agents were doing at the school board meeting in Wilkes-Barre.
We also tried to find out if it’s unusual for Secret Service members to sit through an entire school board meeting. Our search for answers took us on a phone tour of Washington, D.C. We called about a half-dozen different agencies searching for an answer without luck.
Wilkes-Barre Area School District has until August 27 to comply with the subpoenas.