Dubois City Manager Previously Charged with Stealing Hundreds of Thousands of Public Dollars Faces New Counts

October 4, 2023 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Michelle Henry announced the filing of additional charges against John “Herm” Suplizio, the DuBois City Manager previously charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars of public funds for personal expenses.

Suplizio now faces, in total, 13 felonies and 10 misdemeanors regarding conduct in recent years when he served as city manager, as well as executive director of the DuBois Area United Way.

The charges regard the amounts of misappropriated public funds and attempts to obstruct a police investigation into shoplifting incidents involving the then-mayor of Dubois.

The Office of Attorney General filed a criminal complaint Wednesday, which encompasses all the charges, with Senior Magisterial District Judge Carmine Prestia.

Suplizio appeared at the district court late Wednesday morning. He was arraigned on the charges, and bail was set at $100,000 unsecured.

“Instead of acting in the best interests of the community he was supposed to serve, the defendant used his position to line his own pockets and abused his authority for personal gain,” Attorney General Henry said. “This arrest is a reminder that no one is above the law, and that everyone who holds public office in Pennsylvania is accountable to the people.”

Suplizio is charged with felony counts of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, dealing in proceeds, and conflict of interest; and misdemeanor misapplication of entrusted property, fraudulent return, and obstruction.

The entirety of the alleged conduct is outlined in the criminal complaint filed at District Court 46-3-01.

The additional charges were filed following the last court appearance in this case, on Aug. 16, before Senior Judge Charles H. Saylor. Some of the additional charges are a result of investigation conducted since the grand jury presentment was issued last year.

Suplizio is charged with using funds from city bank accounts and the Dubois Area United Way account to pay his personal credit card bills, make political donations, and gamble. The majority of the funds came from accounts for Community Days, an annual summer event presented by the DuBois Volunteer Fire Department, for which Suplizio and his secretary were the sole signatories.

Suplizio also used his position as manager to enter into contracts with businesses for which he received personal benefits. In addition, Suplizio provided false information on his tax returns, paying for numerous charges with public money and claiming those charges as unreimbursed expenses on his taxes.

Regarding the former city mayor’s shoplifting incidents, Suplizio contacted police and attempted to intervene and halt an investigation.

This case was investigated by Trooper Jeffrey Walters and Trooper Eric Guido of Pennsylvania State Police Organized Crime Section in Erie, Special Agent Terrence Sweeney from the Office of Attorney General Financial Crime Section, the Office of Attorney General Public Corruption Section, and Detective Steven Kontaxes of the Fayette County Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

This case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Summer Carroll. All charges are accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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