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Ex-prison guard allegedly forged military papers

A Mifflinburg man while in the Army Reserve allegedly faked his mother’s death, forged military records and submitted them to the Lycoming County Prison, where he once worked, for leave and time off, according to a Lycoming County detective.

Anthoney Brooks, 24, forged the documents to get the paid time off while employed as a corrections officer at the prison, Det. Steven J. Sorage in alleges arrest papers.

When hired last June, Brooks advised a deputy warden he was in the Army Reserve and had ongoing commitment to military service, the affidavit states.

County employees are permitted up to three weeks of paid time off for military leave. The requests for any leave go through a lieutenant at the prison whose duties involve scheduling, the affidavit states.

Brooks allegedly submitted documents from the 542nd Quartermaster Co. in Clinton County that showed his annual training was from July 16 to Aug. 3 and was to attend readiness courses from Oct. 22 to Oct. 26 and from Oct. 28 to Nov. 11.

Brooks was paid $2,067 for military drills, Sorage said.

After notifying the prison of the death of his mother, Ranella Brooks, Brooks was permitted to request bereavement leave for Oct. 19 and 20, the affidavit states.

The prison allows staff two paid days off for bereavement leave in the event of the death of an immediate family member.

Brooks notified the prison that his mother had died but also that he was estranged from his mother and “has no idea if she is living or deceased,” the affidavit states.

The two days of bereavement leave were adjacent to two regularly scheduled days off, which would have then been followed by the military leave, Sorage said.

The prison administration determined that Brooks mother was not deceased prior to payroll being approved. No county funds were disbursed to Brooks for the bereavement leave, Sorage said.

Brooks frequently submitted these documents at the last minute with minimal notice to his employer causing the prison scheduling difficulties and resulting in some officer getting overtime to cover for shifts that Brooks would not be there to work, Sorage said.

Due to the scheduling and tardiness of the documents the prison administration became suspicious and contacted the unit administrator for the Army Reserve, Sorage said.

The administrator advised that Brooks did not have a drill in July to August and drill was canceled and moved to September, Sorage said. Brooks did not attend his annual drill this year, Sorage said.

Sorage then spoke to Jessica Milewski, the unit administrator, who said that she was responsible for generating the orders for the soldiers in training. Milewiski stated that soldiers are given a schedule for weekend drill and orders for the annual training.

Brooks, who resigned Nov. 2, is charged with multiple counts of forgery, execution of documents by deception, unsworn falsification to authorities, tampering with public records and one each of theft and attempted theft.

Brooks is waiting for a preliminary hearing before District Judge Aaron Biichle.

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