DA: Mayor’s receipts warrant further review by state AG
An investigation of potentially fraudulent and questionable receipts submitted for reimbursement by city Mayor Gabriel J. Campana has been referred to state Attorney General Bruce R. Beemer’s office for further criminal investigation.
After his office’s review of the receipts, Lycoming County District Attorney Eric R. Linhardt said Monday they warrant further review and he has referred the matter to Beemer’s office.
In October of this year, Linhardt’s office was asked by City Council and the city Controller Margaret J. Woodring to investigate possible wrongdoing by Campana concerning several requests the mayor had made for reimbursement of expenses in 2015 and 2016.
“A review by my office has revealed several reimbursements that may in fact be illegitimate, and therefore warrant further criminal investigation,” Linhardt said.
“While I am confident in my office’s ability to complete such an investigation in an unbiased, and professional manner, it is important that the investigation’s integrity be unquestioned, and that the public have confidence in its outcome.
“Therefore, in light of my nine year professional relationship with the mayor, I have asked the Office of the Attorney General to assume responsibility in this case,” Linhardt said.
“It is important to note, that the mere fact that this matter has been referred for further investigation, should not lead one to conclude that either I or my office has come to any conclusion about whether the mayor is guilty of any ethical misstep or criminal wrongdoing,” Linhardt said. “We have not. Such conclusions can only be made when the investigation has been completed. I am confident that the Office of Attorney General will conduct a thorough and objective investigation, and that this matter will be brought to an expeditious conclusion.”
Council said it stood by principle that any abuse of taxpayer dollars is wrong and should not be tolerated.
In response, Campana said previously that the controller and treasurer had approved the reimbursements in question.