Township Firefighters Called Before Grand Jury

investigation

SCRANTON — A federal grand jury investigating public corruption in Luzerne County called in several members of the Wilkes-Barre Township volunteer fire department.

The investigation stems from a recent FBI raid at the Wilkes-Barre City Employees Federal Credit Union.

During the raid in March, the feds seized several records from the credit union where the Wilkes-Barre Township Volunteer Fire Department had its accounts.

Former and current members of the Wilkes-Barre Township Volunteer Fire Department said nothing as they entered and exited the federal courthouse in Scranton on Tuesday.

On the advice of their lawyers, they did not discuss why they were called to testify before the grand jury.

The fire department’s former chief and apparent target of the probe John Yuknavich was not among the group that showed up at the federal courthouse.

Yuknavich was arrested last summer and charged by prosecutors in Luzerne County with stealing about $60,000 from the fire department but Yukavich’s trial set for last month was put on hold, and Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said it was due to the federal investigation.

FBI agents raided the Wilkes-Barre City Employees Federal Credit Union in City Hall in March and agents seized documents.

Sources say agents were targeting some Wilkes-Barre city police officers and former city tower Leo Glodzik but it appears the investigation didn’t stop there.

Wilkes-Barre Township’s volunteer fire department also had accounts with the credit union.

The Luzerne County D.A.’s office claims Yuknavich took fire department checks that were supposed to be deposited at the credit union, and instead deposited only some of the funds, and pocketed the rest in cash.

One of those called to testify to the grand jury said the people there Tuesday were witnesses and not targets of the investigation.

Federal investigators are not commenting on what appears to be a link between an ongoing corruption investigation into the city of Wilkes-Barre, and Wilkes-Barre Township’s volunteer fire department and former chief.

 

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