COLUMBIA COUNTY, Pa. — A former treasurer and secretary in Columbia County is locked up on theft charges.
State police say Linda Tarlecki of Aristes stole more than $180,000 from Conyngham Township near Mount Carmel and is facing several felony charges.
State police say since 2006 Tarlecki served as a Conyngham Township supervisor as well as its secretary and treasurer, giving her access to the township’s bank accounts.
Investigators say between the years of 2013 to 2017, Tarlecki forged nearly 300 checks and drained the township’s funds of $180,828.60.
People here weren’t too pleased to learn their tax dollars padded an official’s pocket.
“That’s the trouble with all these people, they get in there and all they want to do is steal,” said Lamar Confiar.
“I don’t know how somebody can do that really, to take from other people, especially their neighbors, their families,” said Kristen Stephens.
Court papers show the theft was discovered in January of last year when two new township supervisors took office and were unable to locate the township’s financial records.
After contacting the township’s bank, concerns were raised over improprieties with the accounts.
State police determined Tarlecki had been writing checks to herself.
“It is terrible when you have to steal off your neighbors and stuff,” said Confiar.
In court documents, no reason was given as to why Tarlecki was taking the money or what it was being used for.
State police say the township was fined $18,562.32 by the IRS for late fees or non-payments.
She also faces charges of failing to do her duties as a treasurer.
“It’s a long time coming, it took a while for this to happen, that’s the way it goes. I’m glad they finally ended it,” said Rick Kowaleski.
Again, Linda Tarlecki remains locked up unable to post bail.
Her next court date is August 6.
A previous version of this story identified the wrong financial institution involved.