Share This Page

Tarentum constable charged with theft

| Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 3:24 p.m.
File photo
Ex-Tarentum constable Tim Dzugan

A Tarentum constable has been charged with falsifying arrest warrants to collect fees.

Timothy Dzugan, 49, of 1108 W. 11th Ave. faces several counts filed by Allegheny County detectives.

One count each of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception and unsworn falsification to authorities were filed Monday in Pittsburgh Municipal Court.

Constables, who are elected officials, are paid a fee for each arrest warrant they serve.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed with the charges, in July 2012 Dzugan submitted 150 warrants to Allegheny County for payment but only three appeared to be valid. The rest of the warrants submitted for payment by Dzugan were recalled, cancelled, paid in full or returned as served prior to the service date on the payment forms, according to the affidavit.

Two checks totaling $4,072, that included payment for the invalid submissions, were issued to Dzugan by the Allegheny County Controller's Office. Of that amount, only $1,309 was legally due to Dzugan, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit states that District Judge Carolyn Bengel, who serves the Tarentum, Harrison, Brackenridge, Fawn and East Deer area, ended her office's relationship with Dzugan after an irregularity surfaced last year.

According to court documents, Dzugan apparently collected $350 owed to the court by a defendant but never turned the money into Bengel, instead holding it until the defendant could raise the total amount due.

Dzugan later returned the money to the defendant after another constable picked him up on the same warrant and he was brought before Bengel for nonpayment of fines. Dzugan's actions were a violation of proper constable procedures and prompted an investigation, according to the affidavit.

Dzugan was last elected as a constable for Tarentum in 2009 and took office in January 2010. His term will expire on the last Monday of January 2016.

He also is employed by Tarentum Borough as its code enforcement officer.

Tom Yerace is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4675 or tyerace@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.