WILKES-BARRE — A federal investigation into the Wilkes-Barre City Employees Credit Union appears to be tied to the city’s Police Department, and possibly a former towing contractor.
Sources close to the investigation say when FBI agents entered the credit union on March 9, they wanted information on car loans involving Wilkes-Barre police officers.
Four days after the federal raid, credit union director Jim Payne committed suicide.
Those close to the investigation tell us feds interviewed at least 12 police officers and credit union workers in the past two months over these loans.
According to sources, some cops would use the vehicle identification number or the title on a car that wasn’t theirs, then took that information to the credit union inside city hall, and used the vehicle that wasn’t theirs as collateral.
Action 16 Investigates has learned that at least one Wilkes-Barre officer received a so-called “target letter.” That is formal notification from federal prosecutors that he is being looked at for possible criminal wrongdoing.
Even though the investigation appears focused on Wilkes-Barre police officers, Mayor Tom Leighton says taking action would be premature.
“It’s an independent investigation that has strictly to do with a law enforcement agency and a credit union,” said Mayor Leighton. “Other than that, we have no knowledge other than what we read in the newspaper.”
One source says the credit union investigation may also be tied to the actions of LAG Towing in Wilkes-Barre and its owner Leo Glodzik III.
The city terminated its contract with Glodzik last year when state police charged him with stealing money from inside a car he towed. That came just after Glodzik admitted to loaning luxury cars to Wilkes-Barre police officers, an apparent violation of city policy.
On Monday, Glodzik was not at his Carey Avenue office when we tried to get a comment.