Retired Authority Executive Director Will Face Felony Charge

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HANOVER TOWNSHIP – Authorities in Luzerne County told Newswatch 16 that the former executive director of the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority will be arraigned on a felony criminal charge on Friday morning.

Prosecutors said Fred DeSanto, 63, Pittston Township will be charged with one count of “diversion of services”.

When Newswatch 16 stopped by DeSanto’s home to get his side of the story, someone quickly covered the front windows with a roll of paper towels.

Investigators said they cannot release information about the alleged, illegal misuse of services, until after DeSanto is arraigned.

Neighbors told Newswatch 16 that DeSanto was generous to the Greater Pittston community, and that they’re stunned that he’s accused of criminal wrongdoing.

“The best neighbor you could ever ask for. I`m sorry to hear that because he`s a great guy,” said Chris Tomashunas. “If it wasn`t for him, I don`t know if Pittston Township would have Little League. He's also very active in challenger; he's done so much for the community."

The Wyoming Valley Sewer Authority issued a written statement on Thursday afternoon, saying that the board has frozen DeSanto’s benefits, which could be used for restitution.

The board overseeing the authority also said that it has “revised its internal policies and procedures to make it clear to employees that potential wrongdoing must be reported without fear of retribution.”