By Brad Segall
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Authorities in Montgomery County, Pa. have charged the bookkeeper for the county’s law library with stealing taxpayer money for her personal use.
Prosecutors say Barbara Melnyk was taken into custody inside the courthouse this morning and charged with theft and related offenses.
They say the 56-year-old Norristown woman was buying college textbooks on Amazon for her daughter, using county money — 35 books costing nearly $2,600.
Montgomery County DA Risa Ferman says the investigation is ongoing and others may be involved.
“She was the person that we have charged with committing the theft by deception because she was deceiving the county into believing that she was making purchases for the law library when instead they were for her personal use,” Ferman says.
The alleged thefts were uncovered following an audit after the library, which had operated independently, was transferred to the supervision of the county courts earlier this year.
Ferman says it’s upsetting when an employee takes limited county resources and funnels that money into their own pocket.
“It seems to me that someone who does that displays a real sense of entitlement, entitlement to take what they want and their emboldened by the sense that no one is looking and therefore they will not be caught,” says Ferman.
Melnyk has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.