After his election as Northampton County's Controller in 2007, Steve Barron became certified as a fraud examiner. Since then, he has teamed up with DA John Morganelli on about five investigations.
This obviously saves Morganelli and taxpayers the expense of hiring a fraud examiner. But in the case of Theresa Owns, it enabled her to recover $82,990.08 from Bangor resident Ronald LaBar, to whom she had made the mistake of granting a Power of Attorney.
Labar dipped into Owns' money to pay taxes on his home, personal bills totaling $7,934.17. He also wrote 58 checks made out to cash, which he signed and endorsed, totaling $11,380.00. Then he told Owns she was broke and would have to move.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending for Owns. Morganelli and Barron were called in before everything, including Labar, was gone. Full restitution has been made.
Steve is justifiably proud of his role. "This is good government in action. Sharing resources and cooperating to provide good services to the citizens of Northampton County with no additional tax dollars needed.”
But its's not such a happy ending for Labar. He's been charged with theft and misapplication of entrusted property.