Board of Supervisors
December 12, 2019
Dear Neighbors and Friends,
In May, we wrote you about a very serious matter that involved a series of fraudulent bank transactions on Township accounts. That event triggered an eight-month investigation by the Chester County District Attorney Office and Forensic Accountants hired by Kennett Township.
On Tuesday, as perhaps you know, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office charged former Kennett Township Manager Lisa Moore with embezzling $3.2 million in taxpayer funds over at least the past six years. The story has been all over the local and regional news.
“This case is all about greed,” District Attorney Tom Hogan stated. “The defendant was well-compensated, with an annual salary of over $100,000. But she decided to live the high life, funded by the taxpayers of Kennett Township. There is no excuse for such a blatant abuse of a position of trust.”
Hogan’s office charged Moore with 115 felony counts and 26 misdemeanor counts – including theft and receiving stolen property, computer crimes, forgery, tampering with public records and related offenses. Moore surrendered to authorities Tuesday, was arraigned and released on $500,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing has been set for February 11, 2020.
“Like so many of us in Kennett Township,” said Supervisor Scudder Stevens, “the Supervisors are shocked and saddened that a former and once-trusted township manager allegedly misused her authority to steal taxpayer money and cover it up for so long. From the beginning, the Township Supervisors fully cooperated with the DA’s investigation and we have been conducting our own investigation using experienced forensic accountants,” Stevens said. “We will continue to cooperate fully as this criminal case proceeds to trial.”
“This case is a reminder,’ said Hogan, “that a determined insider can always find a way to steal, using their knowledge of internal procedures and policies. Because of their inside information, these white collar criminals are more difficult to stop than burglars or armed robbers. However, this case is also a reminder that public officials who steal from taxpayers eventually will be exposed, arrested, and punished. The District Attorney’s Office appreciates the cooperation and work of the Kennett Township Supervisors in this investigation.”
WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE INITIAL DISCOVERY?
Supervisors immediately took over day to day management of the township. Moore was quickly put on administrative leave and was fired a few weeks later when additional information came to light.
Supervisors kept the township running without a manager, protected the township from additional losses, informed and updated residents on developments related to the investigations, assembled a team of experts to investigate and help the supervisors, and after diligent searches hired trustworthy professionals to replace Moore and to update township operating procedures and safeguards.
The Township continued daily operations without interruption during the investigations and was solvent at all times, despite the losses to embezzlement. In addition, Kennett Township Supervisors hired forensic accountants and embezzlement experts to help recover funds illegally taken from the township.
THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING OF ALL THAT HAPPENED
COME HEAR THE ENTIRE STORY NEXT TUESDAY.
We would like to tell you a great deal more, including:
We will discuss all these subjects and more at a Special Meeting next Tuesday, December 17 at 7:00 pm at the Red Clay Room in Kennett Squared. Please plan to attend.We invite you to join the Supervisors and meet the experts
- What the investigations uncovered
- How the money was stolen
- Factors which contributed to the crimes
- Who were the experts who investigated
- How will embezzled funds be recovered
- How could this happen and go on for so long
- Impacts this may have on you, your taxes, and the township
who investigated the crimes, built a strong case, worked to repair the damage done and rebuild the township’s finances and credibility. Because charges have now been made public, we are able to discuss many parts of this important matter. SAVE THE DATE Next Tuesday evening, December 17, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Red Clay Room, 423 Dalmatian Street, Kennett Square PA 19348
(next to Kennett Fire Co.) Kennett Township Board of Supervisors
Scudder Stevens, Chair
Richard Leff, Vice-Chair
Whitney Hoffman, Secretary/Treasurer PS In case you are not able to attend the meeting, the entire session will be videotaped
and posted soon afterwards on the Township’s website: www.kennett.pa.us
PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO ANYONE IN KENNETT TOWNSHIP WHO MIGHT WANT TO ATTEND!
Kennett Township | 801 Burrows Run Road, Chadds Ford PA 19317 | 610 388-1300 | Kennett.pa.us