Police: 23rd victim reports giving money to Derry Township constable
A new theft charge was filed last week against a Derry Township constable who now is accused of pocketing nearly $12,000 from 23 people.
Brian William McDowell, 35, is accused of taking $200 from a neighbor in June and September after McDowell claimed to need money for a shooting competition sponsorship and his insurance, according to court papers released Tuesday.
The victim contacted investigators after seeing news reports about two previously filed theft cases against McDowell. He is set to be arraigned on the new charge Monday at the same time as his preliminary hearing on the other police allegations.
McDowell is accused in three cases of taking money from 23 people between April and December and attempting to get cash from seven more people. Police said McDowell told the victims he needed money for the purported competition, claimed there were warrants for their arrest or unpaid fines and told them he’d “freeze” the system if they paid him, according to court papers.
McDowell said during a hearing last month he was getting substance abuse treatment.
He won a six-year term as constable as a write-in candidate in the November 2015 election to represent Derry Borough’s Ward 4. County voting records show McDowell was elected with one vote.
Westmoreland County courts have been suspended from using McDowell as a constable until the case is resolved.
His attorney was not immediately available.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .