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New Stanton fires official who allegedly stole $3.8K from VFD

| Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, 7:36 p.m.

New Stanton's former emergency management coordinator has been charged with stealing $3,850 from the borough's volunteer fire department.

On Thursday, council members unanimously voted to remove Bryan Brady, 31, of New Stanton from the position but would not give a reason. Brady also was the third assistant chief at the fire department.

Councilman Wilbur Bussard said Friday that he could not give a “direct answer” about council's decision.

“It's pretty hard in my book to be a coordinator of emergency management when he has those charges against him in the fire hall,” Bussard said. “That was kind of a decision we pondered over — if you're not allowed in the fire department, what benefit are you going to be to us? That's where the emergency management operates.”

President Scott Sistek said he could not comment on what council discussed in executive session Thursday.

“Bryan was a good guy. I had no problems with Bryan. But it was the determination of council, and it was a unanimous decision,” he said.

Councilman Tom Smith also declined to discuss what was said in the executive session.

“But you can probably guess,” he said.

Brady could not be reached for comment.

According to charges filed on July 3, Brady is accused of stealing 11 envelopes of cash from the fire department's lock box between January and June. Each envelope contained $350, the deposit for renting the fire hall, court records indicate.

According to the charges, Brandon Todd, president of the fire department, told police that in May board members noticed that money placed in the lock box in the club room was missing. They installed video cameras in the area, records show.

On June 8, the fire hall manager placed $350 in cash in an envelope in the lock box. On June 10, video surveillance showed Brady enter the club room and use a key to open the box and remove the money, according to the charges.

When confronted by police about the video, Brady admitted he stole the 11 envelopes. According to the detectives, he said he was having financial problems and used the stolen money for personal bills and living expenses.

Brady also said that when he noticed the video surveillance equipment, he got nervous and threw away the key for the lock box, which he had stolen from Todd's office.

Brady is charged with theft by unlawful taking.

In 2003, Brady was charged with several counts of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property. He was admitted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for nonviolent, first-time criminal offenders, who may petition the court to have their public records expunged after a probationary period. The program does not require defendants to make an admission of guilt.

Sistek said the borough will look for a new emergency management coordinator.

Kate Wilcox is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or kwilcox@tribweb.com.

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