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Husband-and-wife Penn Hills firefighters suspended amid probe into missing money

Michael DiVittorio
| Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, 3:42 p.m.
Penn Hills Fire Department 221 - known as station one - on Mt. Carmel Road in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
Penn Hills Fire Department 221 - known as station one - on Mt. Carmel Road in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
Shawn and Jennifer Snyder
Facebook | Shawn Snyder
Shawn and Jennifer Snyder

Volunteer firefighters in Penn Hills voted this week to suspend Station 221 Fire Chief Shawn Snyder and his wife, Jennifer, vice president of the station, based on a complaint filed with police about money missing from a department account.

“At this point we just have a report made and we're investigating it,” Penn Hills Police Chief Howard Burton said. “We have no charges filed at this time. We don't know what's missing or how much is missing or if anything's missing.”

A phone call to a number listed for Jennifer Snyder was not returned. No one answered the door at the couple's home Wednesday.

Station 221 President Robert Williams said he filed the police report Monday. The same night, members of the volunteer fire department voted to suspend the Snyders indefinitely during an investigation into financial irregularities at the department.

Snyder has been chief for at least the past 11 years.

Williams said the Snyders were the only members who had access to department bank accounts.

“From what we can see in our records, it's been about a year and a half that we know of that money's been used inappropriately,” Williams said.

Williams would not say how much money is thought to be missing. He told police in his report that the Snyders might have knowledge about the missing money, according to police Lt. Robert Meyers.

“We're in the infancy stage and we're not ready to name suspects,” Meyers said.

Following the couple's suspension, department members voted to appoint Devin Cummings as fire chief at the station in the Lincoln Park section of Penn Hills. Cummings has served the department for about seven years, including the last two as assistant chief. A new vice president has not been named.

Penn Hills has six volunteer fire stations including the one in Lincoln Park.

“Changes are being made so that the department can be better and move forward and do things right,” Williams said. “The department is doing everything possible to fix the problem and move forward and protect the community. This department has one job, and that is to protect and serve.”

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367, mdivittorio@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

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