CRESSONA, Pa. -- A borough secretary in Schuylkill County is facing theft charges after state police say she stole nearly a half million dollars from the municipality where she worked.
Erin Hossler of Pottsville is accused of stealing from the borough of Cressona. According to state police, Hossler took $425,546.79 while working as the borough secretary.
State police say Hossler forged checks and made purchases for herself using borough funds.
An audit revealed the missing money.
At bingo night at the Good Will Hose Company in Cressona, people were outraged.
“When we're here busting our butt every week, trying to raise money for the fire company, and people find it convenient to take money, that's pretty bad,” said Jim Krammes, a member of the fire company.
“Kind of want to know what she did with it, but there's a lot of things that I don't know what she did,” said Katie Rhody.
Schuylkill County District Attorney Michael O'Pake calls the amount of missing money significant.
“It's shocking for a number of reasons,” said O’Pake. “One, obviously the amount that is alleged to have been taken and number two, that Cressona's such a small borough.”
Jon Bowman is the retired police chief in Port Carbon. He agrees it's an unbelievable amount of money for a community of that size.
“Having worked in a small municipality where literally every nickel and dime is supposedly accounted for,” said Bowman.
According to the district attorney, there was no reason given as to why the money was reportedly taken.
O'Pake says he expects the theft to have an impact on Cressona.
“Not only in regard to the general fund, but there are some of the funds within the borough as well, where people are paying, for instance, a sewer bill and that money is not available for the sewer fund,” said O’Pake.
Erin Hossler is locked up in Schuylkill County on $10,000 bail.