Former City of Scranton official charged with theft

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A former Official for the City of Scranton is facing theft charges after police say he stole cash from a payment for a permit.

Police say Former Zoning Director for the city of Scranton, John Sweeney, 62, of Scranton, stole $1,401 from a payment he received of $7,120 from Harvest for permits from the city.

Sweeney told police he received a cash payment for the permits from an employee of Harvest after City Hall had closed on April 22, 2019, and because he was uncomfortable having that much cash on him, he purchased money orders in the amount of $5,719 – the most he could purchase without having to sign an IRS form. Sweeney says he left the remaining cash, $1,100 (the balance after money orders were purchased), on the front seat of his car. He says that money was stolen.

Sweeney brought in the money orders and copies of the permits to City Hall the next day and never told anyone what happened until he was asked about it in late May.

During the course of the investigation, Sweeney had a Post-Termination Hearing. At that hearing, he had his lawyers, detectives, and an attorney for the City of Scranton inspect his desk. In it, they found an envelope with $1,080, which Sweeney represented as the missing money from the permits.

Sweeney’s Secretary, Megan Rade, admitted to police that she received the envelope from Sweeney during a meeting at Kildares and placed it in the desk for him.

Sweeney is facing Theft and Tampering charges.

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