The State of Pennsylvania has charged four employees in connection with an alleged criminal conspiracy in which reports were forged to make it appear that state vehicles were being used more frequently. The defendants worked at the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) at the same park complex, according to criminal complaints filed Jan. 12.
During a five-month period in 2014, the defendants forged monthly automotive reports that were kept for the state vehicles. The defendants allegedly conspired to inflate the frequency of use and fuel usage on the reports to ensure the complex's allotment of state vehicles remained intact. A Department of General Services policy enacted in 2011 dictated that state vehicles may be removed from certain fleets for lack of use.
The investigation revealed there were multiple days when DCNR employees were recorded as having been the driver of a vehicle on a day when the employee was on a scheduled day off. Additionally, refueling marked on multiple reports indicated that certain vehicles were being filled beyond their actual fuel capacity, the criminal complaints state.
The investigation also included information from an administrative assistant who previously worked at the park complex. She told investigators she observed several handwriting discrepancies in which gallons of fuel and vehicle mileage information had been erased or altered on reports, the criminal complaints state. Multiple interviews conducted through the course of the investigation also revealed evidence that information written on monthly automotive reports was forged during the alleged conspiracy, according to the filing documents.
A park manager and a maintenance supervisor are charged with three counts each of forgery and one count each of tampering with public records, criminal conspiracy with multiple charges, tampering with records or identification, and obstructing administration of law or other government function.
Two maintenance repairmen are charged with one count each of tampering with public records, criminal conspiracy with multiple charges, tampering with records or identification, and obstructing administration of law or other government function.
The defendants have appeared for preliminary arraignments. They were each released on $5,000 unsecured bail. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for Feb. 3.