PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A former Bethel Park councilman who was accused of driving under the influence is facing new charges.
Brandon Colella is now accused of ripping off several of his customers of his bankrupt contracting business.
Bethel Park Police also accuse him of stealing more than $60,000 from his condo association.
One alleged victim who did not want to be identified told KDKA Colella’s construction business took him for his life savings.
The alleged victim says he paid Colella to build a new home, but he never finished the job.
KDKA’s Paul Martino: “How much does he owe you?”
Alleged victim: “Close to $180,000.”
Martino: “How did you recover from that?”
Alleged victim: “I haven’t. It’s costing me my life savings.”
Colella’s lawyer, meanwhile, claims it’s more of a case of bankruptcy, not theft.
“Is this a failure of a business, which is a civil matter, or is this actually a criminal matter? It disturbs me, in some instances, that the commonwealth would want to characterize this as a criminal matter when some of these things may just be the result of a business going bankrupt,” John Biedrzycki said.
- Former Bethel Park Councilman Arrested Again, Faces DUI Charges
- Bethel Park Councilman Facing Drug, Fraud Charges In Separate Cases
Colella was originally arrested in Mt. Lebanon, where witnesses say he was driving erratically. Police say he failed a sobriety test.
He later resigned from the Bethel Park council after he was arrested for fraudulent business practices and trying to sell Adderall.
Drug charges against him were reduced to disorderly conduct Wednesday, but he will have to stand trial on the long list of other charges.