ShareThis Page

Ex-Ford City official to stand trial in theft case

| Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

KITTANNING — A former Ford City official accused of stealing items from the Armstrong County Firemens Association is headed for trial after denying any wrongdoing during plea court on Thursday.

Christopher Zionkowski, 24, of 414 O'Connor St., appeared in court before President Judge Kenneth Valasek on a felony theft charge.

He was arrested in October of last year for allegedly stealing three tables and 25 chairs, valued at $820, from the Association in August 2010.

Ziokowski is a former trustee of the group and also is a former president of the Ford City Borough Sewage Authority.

When Valasek asked Zionkowski during plea court if he had returned the tables and chairs to the Association, Zionkowski said he had not.

“What did you do with them?” asked Valasek.

“I don't know,” said Zionkowski.

After Valasek asked him to explain himself, Zionkowski said he was “willing to pay everything and let this drop.”

According to the affidavit, a woman who had been working at the Association witnessed Zionkowski load the tables and chairs into a pickup.

Zionkowski told Valasek that he lent the items out to a party but denied loading them into a pickup.

Valasek told Zionkowski's public defender James Wray that he would not accept a plea.

“He's not taking responsibility. I'm not accepting a plea,” said Valasek. “He's going to have to go to trial.”

However, Valasek said he would accept a plea at a later date if Zionkowski accepted responsibility for his actions.

Zionkowski was sentenced in January on theft charges for stealing cash from Ford City Hose Co. 1 and was sentenced to two years probation.

Brigid Beatty can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.