East McKeesport woman waives hearing on charges she stole youth football funds
An East McKeesport woman waived her preliminary hearing on Thursday on charges that she stole more than $5,000 from the East Allegheny Youth Football Association.
April L. Simko, 33, remained free on her own recognizance pending a formal arraignment on May 8 at 1 p.m. in Pittsburgh.
Simko is charged with theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and access device fraud in connection with alleged activity as treasurer of that association.
She did not have an attorney though she did discuss options with an assistant Allegheny County public defender.
“Do you understand what you are doing?” Forest Hills Magisterial District Judge Thomas P. Caulfield asked Simko during a brief appearance in a North Versailles Township courtroom.
Caulfield stepped in for Magisterial District Judge Robert L. Barner this week, while Barner went to Harrisburg for courses required for his recertification.
In a criminal complaint, Kevin P. Flanigan, a detective for Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., said East McKeesport police were told about Simko's alleged thefts.
The complaint said investigators found 46 unauthorized withdrawals from the association's account at PNC Bank in North Versailles totaling approximately $5,740, including $141.49 in movie video rentals and a hotel stay in Georgia.
The complaint quoted Simko as saying she was caught in a jam and needed money.
Simko also was quoted as saying she gave receipts to association president William Smith and made a partial repayment of $150.
“I am going to pay back every penny,” the complaint said Simko promised in a text to Smith.
In a January interview with Flanigan and Detective Patricia Parker, also of Zappala's office, Simko was quoted as saying she tapped the association's account to deal with medical problems and because her car was falling apart.
Simko declined comment about the case after her appearance before Caulfield. However, she said she had not been arrested, contrary to a published account.
A Daily News report last week on charges filed against Simko quoted a spokesman for Zappala, who said Simko surrendered to authorities on March 13, then was released on her own recognizance after an arraignment before Barner.
East Allegheny Youth Football Association is involved in Flag, Termite, Mighty Mites and Midget football and cheerleading activity in the East Allegheny School District municipalities of East McKeesport, North Versailles Township, Wall and Wilmerding.
Its teams share the Wildcat nickname with East Allegheny High School's football team. Association teams practice at Park Terrace Field and play games at the high school's Churchman Stadium.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
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.
- McKeesport councilman fined, given probation in gambling ring
- Strike remains possible for East Allegheny teachers
- Pleasant Hills Night Out attracts large crowd
- Whitaker man to serve 2 life sentences for West Mifflin murders
- McKeesport police arrest teen on gun charges
- Steel Valley school board president seeks donation policy
- Pleasant Hills council awards paving contract
- Steel Valley area youth attend water camp
- Glassport Scout completes Eagle Project
- White Oak man ordered to pay fine in gambling ring case
- Civic organization donates to Clairton Police Department