LCTA Leaders Arrested

By Andy Mehalshick

Published 06/04 2014 10:17AM

Updated 06/05 2014 07:04AM

HARRISBURG -- In a story the I-Team has been following for years, two top Luzerne County Transportation Authority officials have been arrested by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

Executive Director Stanley Strelish and Operations Manager Robb Henderson have both been charged with conspiracy following a grand jury investigation into inflated senior ridership numbers.

LCTA drivers told the I-Team several years ago that they were directed to inflate the numbers of senior passengers on their buses. Those numbers were reported to PennDOT and resulted in increased funding to LCTA.

Kane says in a release, "These officials manipulated a program designed to offer seniors free, public ridership. In the process, they defrauded the Commonwealth of more than $3.1 million and created an environment of intimidation and angst in the workplace."

Investigators found that senior ridership numbers increased more than 50% after Strelish and Henderson took over the LCTA. During grand jury testimony one driver revealed counting 53 senior passengers for every one senior passenger that actually boarded the bus.

Here are the specific charges:

Strelish is charged with seven counts of tampering with public records, seven counts of unsworn falsification to authorities, seven counts of false swearing, seven counts of obstructing administration of a government function, six counts of dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activity, six counts of theft by deception, six counts of conspiracy to commit theft by deception and one count of attempted theft by deception.

Henderson is charged with seven counts of conspiracy to commit tampering with public records or information, seven counts of conspiracy to commit aiding the consummation of a crime, seven counts of conspiracy to commit the obstruction of law or other governmental function and six counts of conspiracy to commit dealing in the proceeds of illegal activity.

We'll have much more on later editions of Eyewitness News.

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