Critic of Kennedy School Alumnus Arrested for Embezzlement
Braddock, Pennsylvania, borough manager Ella Jones has been a vocal critic of the town's mayor, John Fetterman, who was profiled in Harvard Magazine.
A critic of Braddock, Pennsylvania, mayor John Fetterman, M.P.P. ’99—profiled in the September-October 2010, magazine—has been arrested for allegedly stealing about $176,000 from the town. Borough manager Ella Jones, who has been one of Fetterman's harshest critics, was arrested on August 19 following an investigation by the Allegheny County district attorney's office. Jones, who has worked directly with the town council since 2000, was subsequently suspended from her job without pay. She pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the district attorney's office and a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jones was charged with "three counts of forgery and three counts of theft by unlawful taking. She is accused of forging the names of council members on 153 borough checks written to herself, totaling $170,428, about 12 percent of the borough's budget. She also is accused of misappropriating nine borough checks made out to Orchard Bank worth about $5,390 and making five online payments toward her personal credit card bill using borough funds, according to an affidavit." Jones has said she had the council's approval to write the checks.
According to the Pennsylvania Borough Council Handbook, Fetterman's duties as mayor do not include oversight of, or voting on, budgetary or financial matters or monitoring town check-writing or supervising Jones; this is strictly the council's purview.