Money Matters

Investigators have seized computers and a host of financial paperwork from the Shenango Township Municipal Building.

A document filed Tuesday in the Lawrence County prothonotary’s office contains an itemized list of what was confiscated when the Lawrence County district attorney’s office served a search warrant Friday at the township building on Willowbrook Road.

The warrant was served on Shenango Township Supervisor Albert D. Burick III, who was at the building when investigators arrived. The building was closed to the public during the search, which was conducted by an investigator from the district attorney’s office.

The search warrant was requested after the Pennsylvania auditor general’s office had contacted the district attorney’s office regarding questionable checks that had been written to Shenango’s secretary/treasurer Brian Tanner and the township’s auditor, Deno DeLorenzo.

The state auditors had been reviewing the township pension fund for 2013. They turned over financial records to the district attorney’s office, alleging Tanner had written checks to himself and DeLorenzo, stamped with then-supervisor chairman Larry Herman’s signature, none of which had been authorized by the supervisors.

The paperwork shows Tanner had written 224 checks to himself and DeLorenzo between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2013, that are in question. They total $453,516.80.

According to investigators, Tanner wrote 133 checks to himself from the sewer department’s general fund — totaling $231,678.68 — and deposited them in personal accounts in three different banks. He also wrote 91 checks — totaling $221,838.12 — from the sewer account to DeLorenzo, according to court documents. Those documents allege DeLorenzo deposited the money into personal accounts in three or four different banks.

The list of items seized in Friday’s search includes: two laptop computers, a personal computer, memory sticks and two hard drives.

Other items listed as seized include: township minutes books from various years, an ink stamp with Tanner’s signature, a police pension fund folder with contract, an audit findings file for 2001, a Feb. 10 invoice file for various vendors, a checkbook of Brian and Debbie Tanner, the 2008 payroll check register, a tape-recorded cassette of a monthly meeting and signature stamps of current supervisor chairman Russell Riley and Herman.

Papers seized include: W-2 forms for Tanner from 1998 and several recent years, a Pennsylvania infrastructure loan letter dated March 12, 2014, a 2011 budget expenditure list for the township, an accounts payable register and invoice and check receipts from 2006, a voided check to Brian Tanner for $10,296.59, the township’s check history from Nov. 1, 2010, through Nov. 30, 2010, an attorney letter to Brian and Debbie Tanner, stubs for checks written to Tanner and DeLorenzo, bank statements, checks to DeLorenzo in boxes marked 2008 and 2009, check copies to DeLorenzo for 2003, 15 checks voided from the township’s general fund, a box of bank statements, a letter to DeLorenzo, a rental notice from Huntington Bank for a safety deposit box in the name of Brian and Debbie Tanner, personal bank statements for Tanner, a copy of American Express statements, pay stubs and check register, the budget for various years, Bank of America statements, a Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General report for 2008, checks written during 2003, a 2002 township restructuring and new money statement, Tanner’s pension plan and his wife’s IRA statements, 2012 payroll and financial information, and Deno DeLorenzo’s audit service agreement for 1994 through 1996.

Tanner, whose salary is $57,257, has been placed on administrative leave, according to a statement issued by the supervisors.

The supervisors — Riley, who is the chairman, Burick and William Albertini — have scheduled a public meeting for 7 p.m. Thursday in the township building.

(Email:mailto:dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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