White Oak animal shelter theft case postponed for the 3rd time
Formal arraignment was continued for a third time for an Elizabeth Township man charged with the theft of $73,000 from the White Oak Animal Safe Haven.
The no-kill animal shelter's one-time vice president and manager, Frank Sabolcik, 33, remains free on $5,000 bond as he awaits a presentation of the charges against him in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
Sabolcik's attorney said all three continuances were requested by the district attorney's office.
“I have no idea (why),” Ryan Tutera said. “I don't care to speculate.”
Sabolcik was arrested by county police on Aug. 8 and charged with felony counts of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception and receiving stolen property.
A 15-page county police affidavit alleges that he misused a debit card and mishandled proceeds from a car raffle and a recycling program.
District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.'s spokesman Mike Manko was asked if there had been any change in the charges or if other arrests are anticipated.
“I'm not aware of any changes to the case,” Manko said in an email on Wednesday. “And I do not believe they are pursuing anyone else at this time.”
At a 45-minute preliminary hearing on Sept. 16 in Forward Township, Tutera and Assistant District Attorney Lee Goldfarb exchanged objections and dueled over the propriety of Sabolcik's actions between May 2011 and September 2012.
Magisterial District Judge Beth S. Mills found that a prima facie case existed and held the charges for trial.
She scheduled formal arraignment for Nov. 1, but it was continued until Nov. 25, then until Thursday, when it was postponed again.
It is scheduled for Feb. 5 at 9 a.m. in room 519 of the county courthouse.
Tutera said he remains convinced of his client's innocence.
“At the end of the day he will get his fair day in court,” Tutera said. “I believe in the justice system. It does take time, and in the end justice will be served.”
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Local Catholic Schools Week celebrations include fun activities, community service
- Homestead business owner recalls similar fire 26 years ago
- West Mifflin Area sues Martell over continuing education credit costs
- LifeSpan opens fitness center in McKeesport
- Use of police body cameras increases; Whitaker explores purchase
- West Mifflin Area board approves contracts with teachers union, business manager
- Groups to offer help with health insurance sign-ups in Mon Valley
- Mon Valley groups celebrate King’s life, legacy
- No one injured in North Versailles house fire