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South Hills

Baldwin man who took vets' money granted early parole for health issues

| Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, 1:15 p.m.

A Baldwin Borough man who was convicted of stealing donations meant for veterans' funerals suffered a stroke in jail and will be released early, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Patrick J. Gorman was found guilty of theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and misapplication of entrusted property after a bench trial in January before Allegheny County Judge David Cashman. Prosecutors said Gorman, a former officer at American Legion Post 935 in Baldwin and VFW Post 1810 in Brentwood, took money intended for an honor guard that would appear at veterans' funerals and spent more than $40,000 on personal items such as a waterbed and $5,000 paid to South Hills Country Club.

Cashman sentenced Gorman to 11 12 to 23 months.

At a hearing before Cashman on Wednesday, defense attorney Casey White said Gorman, 80, suffered an apparent stroke at the county jail on Sept. 22 and was taken to Allegheny General Hospital. Doctors there confirmed he suffered a stroke but also reported he had heart problems and signs of dementia.

In light of Gorman's declining health, White asked Cashman to parole his client early.

“I ask for leniency, sympathy, so he can get the proper care he needs on the outside,” White said.

Gorman appeared in court in a wheelchair and did not speak to the judge. He had served about 7 12 months of his sentence.

Cashman granted the early parole but included as a condition that Gorman relinquish clothing, flags, hats, guns or other materials necessary to operate an honor guard.

Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at msantoni@tribweb.com or 412-391-0927.

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