NEW CASTLE (KDKA) – The former Shenango Township treasurer, who lost his job over hundreds of theft and forgery allegations, is going to trial.
Brian Tanner, 49, of New Castle, worked for the township for 14 years. But, investigators say he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from tax payers in a check-writing scheme.
Tanner surrendered to authorities after the Lawrence County District Attorney announced he was filing more than 500 forgery and theft counts against him.
Investigators say Tanner wrote more than 200 checks to himself and the Shenango Township auditor. Audits showed more than $1 million in questionable expenses.
District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa says $800,000 worth of those expenses were blatantly illegal.
“There appears to be no legitimate reason for issuing those checks, other than a motive of theft,” says Lamancusa.
Tanner’s attorney says he’s cooperating with the investigation.
“This is a case that involves primarily paperwork,” says defense attorney David Acker. “The Commonwealth and I have been going over the paperwork. Mr. Tanner has been cooperating as well and going over the paperwork with them.”
On Wednesday, Tanner waived the charges against him to trial.
“The next step will be in a formal arraignment in March of 2015,” says Acker. “But, once again, the formal arraignment is just a formality. We’ll explore the paperwork, go over everything and see where we’re at at that point in time.”