Baldwin Borough councilman is charged after stealing mulch at park
A Baldwin Borough councilman will face charges for stealing half a cubic yard of mulch from a municipal park to augment the flower bed adjacent to his home.
Baldwin police charged 18-year Councilman John “Butch” Ferris, 68, with theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property last week, after he admitted to taking industrial grade mulch from Colewood Park because he couldn't find a similar color available in stores. The charges were filed on Aug. 15 by summons, police Chief Michael Scott said.
“You learn from your mistakes,” Ferris said Tuesday.
The councilman said he plans to seek an attorney's advice on how to plead.
“It's embarrassing,” Ferris said of his actions.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled in front of district Magistrate Pat Capolupo on Oct. 9. District Magistrate John Bova, who oversees Baldwin Borough, recused himself from the case, Scott said.
Ferris, who chairs the borough's public works committee, publicly apologized for the theft at a council meeting on Aug. 20. He returned the $11 in mulch to borough police, he said.
“I shouldn't have done it. It's not my mulch. It's your mulch,” Ferris told residents in attendance at the council meeting.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 â 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.