Judge accused of stealing more than $100,000 from court, fire company

- A Berks County judge is on the wrong side of the law, charged with stealing more than $100,000.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane's office announced Timothy M. Dougherty is facing multiple felonies.

He’s accused of stealing $15,000 from the court where he presides, and also stealing more than $90,000 from a local volunteer fire company.

Now, The Associated Press reports, Dougherty was supposed to surrender but was instead taken to Reading Hospital from his judicial office. His condition wasn't immediately released.

Kane’s office reported a grand jury recommended the charges.

According to their presentment, investigators searched Dougherty's court in Wyomissing and found $15,251 paid to the court was missing. The court collects fines, restitution and court costs related to civil and criminal cases.

The presentment continued, saying Dougherty had final authority over the court's finances and told investigators he didn’t have the missing money. However, he wrote a check for the missing amount 20 days later, which was the day before he was subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury regarding the missing money.

Dougherty is also charged with stealing $97,780 over seven years while serving as treasurer for the Wyomissing Volunteer Fire Company.

The grand jury found numerous discrepancies in a review of the fire company's bank accounts and treasurer's reports submitted by Dougherty. According to the grand jury, bank account balances listed in the reports often did not match the actual amount of money in the accounts.   

Also, a forensic accountant looking into Dougherty's personal bank accounts and finances showed the accounts often were overdrawn and he failed to pay his monthly bills, including his mortgage.

In addition, the grand jury found similar issues in his official capacity including evidence he violated court procedures by not making daily bank deposits and not timely submitting monthly reports to the Berks County controller's office.

Plus, Kane’s office said the grand jury reviewed an audit of finances related to Dougherty's district court that was conducted by the state Department of the Auditor General.

Dougherty, of Wyomissing, was charged with five counts of theft by deception, two counts of theft by unlawful taking, two counts of theft by receiving stolen property, one count of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, and one count of conflict of interest.

He was awaiting a preliminary arraignment before going to the hospital.

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