HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro is today announcing charges against the Dauphin County Chief Public Defender for approving $26,000 in compensatory time for county employees who conducted political work at his direction. Bradley Winnick, 47, of Hummelstown, was charged with Theft of Services, Conspiracy, Conflict of Interest, and Tampering with Public Records after an Office of Attorney General investigation found that he granted employees compensatory time to work the polls in support of a judicial candidate during the county primary and general elections in 2017.
“Our election laws are clear—public funds are not to be used to support political work,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “The defendant is charged with approving more than $26,000 in compensatory time for county employees to work on behalf of a political candidate at his direction. He allegedly not only misused taxpayer dollars and attempted to cover it up, but he also undermined the integrity of our democratic process. My Office will continue to investigate and prosecute public corruption wherever we find it, no matter what position of power the defendant may hold.”
The defendant began working as First Assistant Public Defender of Dauphin County in 2006. In 2011, he was named Chief Public Defender. An investigation by the Office of Attorney General found that he granted compensatory time to many of his employees, including lawyers, paralegals and investigators, to work the polls in support of a judicial candidate during the Dauphin County primary and general elections in 2017.
The defendant allegedly granted double compensatory time to employees for each hour they worked. Each employee that worked thirteen hours at the polls on election days received twenty-six hours of time. Between the two election days, the defendant is believed to have granted his employees a total of $26,265.92 in compensatory time. The defendant also allegedly instructed the deputy administrator not to enter the time off into the payroll records, so that the records would indicate the employee worked when they were really out at the polls.
The defendant turned himself in this afternoon and waived his preliminary hearing. Senior Deputy Attorney General Kirk Handrich of the Attorney General’s Public Corruption Section will prosecute the case. All charges discussed are accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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