DA Won’t Prosecute Any Medic 10 Member for Theft

GREENSBURG, Pa. — Mt. Pleasant Council accepts the decision by Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck not to prosecute any member of Medic 10 for theft, the borough’s attorney said.

But questions remain as to how two former officers could have paid themselves more than $100,000 during a three-year period for “volunteering” at the ambulance service, said Fred Wolfe of the Pittsburgh firm of Tucker Arensberg.

The two officials, who signed the checks, could not have worked that many hours to earn the money based on an incentive system implemented by Medic 10, Wolfe said.

“… The borough disagrees with (Peck’s) characterization of the payments made to Medic 10 members, which were as high as $28,500 to one individual in a single year as ‘minimal fees for their services,’ ” Wolfe said.

He took issue with Peck’s characterization that the amounts were the result of error or miscalculation.

Borough manager Jeff Landy said the ambulance service’s board of directors will meet on Monday to implement changes.

Peck last week declined to file criminal charges after a nearly year-long probe into Medic 10, which provides emergency medical services to the borough, township and surrounding municipalities.

He said there was “very little likelihood” of prosecuting anybody for theft, because it would be difficult to prove intent.

“A criminal prosecution is not warranted,” Peck said.

Medic 10 utilized an incentive system that awarded points to members for answering calls, volunteering during unscheduled work hours, working weekends, or to be on standby.

Members had the option of using the points to purchase equipment, attend training or be paid. Wolfe said one member earned $73,000 from 2008 to 2010, while another earned nearly $29,000 in one year for “janitor work.”

He questioned how a volunteer could earn that amount of money, even at the rate of eight points an hour. Wolfe said the person would have had to work 3,500 hours — more than 67 hours per week — that year to earn that much money.

After reviewing the audits, council became suspicious about some of the expenses and asked Peck to investigate.

In 2008, Medic 10 volunteers earned:

  • One point for each call over the required minimum calls they made each month.
  • One point if they volunteered when they weren’t scheduled to work.
  • Two points for each hour they were scheduled to work during the week.
  • A half-point if they were on standby.

In 2009 and 2010, Medic 10 quadrupled the points and gave volunteers the option of converting the points to cash at the equivalent of $1 a point, Wolfe said.

“Council was particularly concerned because more than $100,000 of the approximately $165,000 to the members incentive program went to two individuals who made out and signed the checks for the payment of such member incentives,” Wolfe added.

“Our council felt we had a fiduciary duty to the public as elected officials,” he said. “The borough still feels it was inappropriate.”

Medic 10 is owned by Mt. Pleasant and funded through memberships and third-party billing.

Wolfe said the audits for 2008 and 2009 took some time to complete. The 2008 audit wasn’t ready until October 2010. Council didn’t receive the 2009 audit until February 2011.

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