Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Municipal Manager in Pennsylvania Accused Of Embezzling $230K - Trial Delayed

From Trib Total Media on 1/5/2015:

The criminal case against a former Munhall borough manager accused of embezzling more than $230,000 from the borough appears headed toward a resolution.
Matt Galla, 44, of West Mifflin was to stand trial Monday on four felony counts of theft by deception, but the case was continued until April 8. A court official said the continuance was granted to give Galla time to gather a lump sum for restitution.
Galla's attorney, Brent McCune, said Monday, “We are trying to negotiate a settlement with the commonwealth.”
McCune declined to discuss details but said, “The borough feels they're owed some money and we're looking at that. Maybe we can reach an agreement with the government.”
Galla was arrested in April on allegations he overpaid himself while working as borough manager between 2010 and 2013. He was released on his own recognizance April 9.
Galla, who had a budgeted salary of $60,000, is accused of overpaying himself $12,000 in 2010, $85,000 in 2011, $80,000 in 2012 and $53,000 during the first six months of 2013.
This is the second time the trial has been continued. On Sept. 25, McCune requested more time to review documents.
According to charging documents, Galla “had the responsibility for payroll, was in the position to intentionally omit payroll reports, and to destroy and/or falsify certain payroll records to disguise certain payroll fraud schemes such as overpayments of payroll to himself, and under-withhold Social Security and federal income tax on his fraudulently inflated pay.”
Shortly after Galla's resignation in June 2013, Munhall officials learned that audits had not been completed in 2011 and 2012, among other bookkeeping inconsistencies.
The missing audits cost the borough at least $360,000 in Regional Asset District funds from Allegheny County, and the lack of proper documentation made it difficult to obtain a tax anticipation loan last year.
Galla has maintained his innocence, stating the borough scapegoated him for refusing to complete audits for 2011 and 2012 because those documents were “rife with corruption.”
Galla was hired as a part-time clerk in 2009, and he became manager in December 2010.
This past fall, Galla angered borough officials when he appeared on the CBS game show “The Price is Right” while awaiting trial. In the program, which aired Oct. 3 and was recorded in Los Angeles on Aug. 20, Galla is seen sitting in the front row.
Around the time the show aired, Munhall Councilman Joe Ballas said Galla had been ordered not to leave Allegheny County as a condition of his release from county jail and called his appearance on the show “a slap in the face to all the residents of this borough.”
Read the whole story here.

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