ShareThis Page

Monongahela mayor arrested on theft charge

| Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 12:47 a.m.
Mugshot of Monongahela Mayor Robert Kepics, who was arrested for theft by deception-false impression. Tuesday, December 11, 2012.

Monongahela Mayor Robert Kepics was arrested and jailed Tuesday on charges of theft by deception-false impression after he allegedly borrowed nearly $4,000 from an elderly couple and failed to pay the amount back.

But the mayor insisted he didn't steal the money.

“I am not a thief,” the 56-year-old mayor said. “I'm on disability. I only make $1,400 a month. I have been trying to pay back as much as I can.”

The private criminal complaint was filed by John and Shirley Amon, of 413 Carroll St., New Eagle.

The couple claims in court papers they loaned Kepics $3,935 on April 26, 2011. In November, Kepics repaid the couple $1,400.

John Amon said in the complaint “Robert said he was going to get the rest of the money from his 401K. He never showed up or even had the decency to call us.”

The Amons tried to reach Kepics through the mail, writing in a letter, “If you can't get all of the money at one time, maybe we can work out a payment plan.”

Kepics sent a letter of his own in response that was received by the Amons on Jan. 11, 2012, that implied that he would contact them about a payment plan if he wasn't able to secure the amount.

The Amons claim that after that letter, the mayor never got in touch with them, even after Kepics allegedly stated he would give them money after receiving his income tax return on March 1.

In an effort to recoup some of the remaining $2,535 owed to them, the Amons sent Kepics a letter on July 10 stating that they would accept $100 per month as a payment plan. Just over two weeks later, Kepics said he would try to meet those payments.

Since then, the couple claimed they have received only two payments, one on Aug. 8 and another Sept. 12.

He still owes the couple $2,335, according to the complaint.

“I was making payments to these people. I have the receipts,” said Kepics, who called the Amons friends who lived in the same neighborhood where he was raised.

The charges were approved by the Washington County District Attorney's Office Tuesday and an arrest warrant was issued by Magisterial District Judge Mark Wilson.

Kepics was arrested by Washington County Constable Wally Fronzaglio, who brought the mayor before Wilson to be arraigned.

Wilson remanded Kepics to the Washington County Correctional Facility on $5,000 straight cash bond.

Kepics eventually posted bond and was released after a bondsman posted bail.

A preliminary hearing before Wilson is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Dec. 20.

Monongahela will have its monthly council meeting Wednesday. It is unknown if Kepics will attend the meeting.

Jeremy Sellew is a Trib Total media staff writer. He can be reached at at 724-684-2667 or jsellew@trib.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.