Former Monessen treasurer Rizzuto pleads guilty to stealing, gets probation
The former treasurer of Monessen will serve one year on probation for skimming parking meter cash from city coffers.
Frank “Bucky” Rizzuto, an elected official who managed the city's finances for 26 years, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to misdemeanor charges of theft and tampering with public records.
Rizzuto, 73, was arrested last year because officials suspected cash was missing from the city's accounts and started the investigation while he was out of town on vacation.
An internal audit was conducted, and an investigation by county detectives found that more than $470 was missing.
According to court records, Rizzuto admitted to stealing the cash when he was confronted by detectives and even pulled $6.50 in quarters from his pockets during questioning.
Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck said Rizzuto, a former county employee in the public works department, was not offered a chance to enroll in a diversionary program that would have allowed his criminal record to be expunged.
“He was an elected official in a city that does have its financial difficulties,” Peck said. “He was stealing from people who elected him.”
Police said Rizzuto falsified ledgers to reflect that the city received a smaller amount in parking revenue while he pocketed the difference.
Judge John Blahovec ordered Rizzuto to serve the probation and perform 100 hours of community service. He also was ordered to repay the city $311.
Rizzuto confirmed he was disappointed the prosecution did not offer ARD (accelerated rehabilitative disposition), which would have given him the opportunity to clear his criminal record, but declined to answer other questions about the plea.
“I just wanted it settled; there's nothing else more I can say,” Rizzuto said. “I'm glad it's settled.”
In a guilty plea petition he signed in court on Tuesday, Rizzuto wrote, “I admit to the crime for which I am pleading guilty.”
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Burglars strike 3 businesses in Hempfield plaza
- Greensburg train station earns honor from Pittsburgh foundation
- Lawyers standing by to help needy in Westmoreland County
- Proposed Mt. Pleasant budget plan includes deficit, tax hike
- Latrobe top cop questions testing for police promotions
- 9 miles of roads to be paved in Hempfield
- Vandals ruin Ligonier Township farmers’ garden
- Tenant charged in fire that destroyed Latrobe apartment house
- Pair of zoning requests denied by Unity board
- Southmoreland commencement scheduled for Friday evening
- Westmoreland County Transit Authority to consider raising bus fare rate for paratransit participants