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School District Mechanic arrested on corruption charges

Dan Sansky facing several felonies

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - After a five month grand jury investigation, criminal charges have been filed in connection with alleged wrong-doing in the Scranton School District.

The district's former fleet manager was arrested Tuesday on felony charges for allegedly over-billing the district.

It was mid-May when agents with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office and state police raided an auto garage on West Elm Street in Scranton. It is owned by Dan Sansky.

For 12 years, he helped repair vehicles for the Scranton School District but now prosecutors say some of his actions were criminal.

Sansky ignored questions as he was hauled into a magistrate's office in West Scranton in handcuffs.

Prosecutors believe the 67 year old over-billed and even double-billed the Scranton School District for work he did on vehicles.

"This is an ongoing investigation," Chief Deputy Attorney General Erik Olsen said.

Sansky also reportedly billed the district for work performed on the personal vehicles of at least a dozen district employees or their family members.

According to a graph contained in the grand jury presentment, one of them is an "active school board member" with the initials "BL."

The only person with those initials is Bob Lesh, who's formal name is Robert Lesh.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale called on him to resign Tuesday.

"Anyone that had a direct relationship with Sansky and was in a sense getting free, for them, taxpayer benefits from this should absolutely resign!" Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said.

Prosecutors say the district lost at least $53,000 because Sansky allegedly changed 114 tires on one garbage truck over a 40-month period.

"They (School board members) have been warned repeatedly to stop conducting business as usual and clean up their mess and they haven't listened," Rosemary Boland said.

Boland, who is the teachers union president, says the money over-billed that went to Sansky could have gone towards student learning.

"It means almost two new hires. It would certainly mean probably three paraprofessionals could be hired," Boland said.

While Dan Sansky is the first to face charges he may not be the last.

His charges indicate there is another "unnamed" former district employee who was involved in the conspiracy.

"We absolutely expect more charges going forward," Olsen said. When asked if district employees will be charged, Olsen said, "I can't comment on specifics."

Dan Sansky and his wife also received health benefits from the Scranton School District even though they were not technically employees.

Prosecutors say since the district was "self-insured" it could legally offer insurance to sub-contractors so no criminal charges could be filed for that part of the investigation.

Sansky was released on $100,000 unsecured bail. He is expected back in court later this month for a preliminary hearing.


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