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Donora borough employee waives theft charge

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Donora clerk will go to court on allegations she stole nearly $200 from the borough's municipal office in February.

Dawn Lynn Kovalak, 49, of 498 Franklin Ave., Donora, waived her right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday on one misdemeanor charge of theft by unlawful taking in front of Magisterial District Judge Curtis Thompson.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, clerk Marcia Lawson informed Donora police on Feb. 26 that a $139 tap-in fee and an additional $60 was missing from the petty cash fund box.

Lawson told police the box was previously checked by the city administrator and that $200 was present.

During a police interview on March 13, police said Kovalak was shown a surveillance video from Feb. 26 showing Lawson leaving the administrator's office at 12:38 p.m. to make a bank deposit and Kovalak entering the office, closing the door, and remaining inside for approximately six minutes, according to the affidavit.

After checking the officer's surveillance video, Donora Police Superintendent James Brice determined the only persons entering the administrator's office Feb. 26 were Kovalak and Lawson during that time frame.

Donora Council President Dr. Karen Polkabla confirmed Kovalak was on unpaid leave and that any possible termination would require council action. She declined further comment, citing it “a personnel issue.”

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-684-2635.

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