Former Pa. city manager’s theft of funds called “unethical” by state commission

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The fired city manager of affluent Philadelphia suburb Radnor Township, violated state ethic rules by paying himself bonuses without the consent or knowledge of the township board of commissioners, according to a report released today by the state ethics commission.

Longtime Radnor employee, David A. Bashore, 53, was terminated in April 2009 after it was learned that he had been awarding himself annual bonuses, in the range of $15,000 to $18,000, since he was appointed to the position of township manager in 2000. Bashore had started working for the township in 1987 and had previously been assistant township manager.

After the bonuses were discovered, subsequent investigation into the township’s finances revealed that Bashore had a long history of misusing taxpayer monies, much of it through a township credit card for undocumented and personal expenses totaling more than $177,000. Many of the charges were for basketball and football tickets, as well purchases at Pennsylvania Wine & Spirit shops.

The state ethics commission’s ruling only addressed the issue of the bonuses, and required Bashore to repay $55,331, which he promptly did.  The commission was able to take action on the previous five years, not the entire period of the unauthorized payments. The ethics commission said that he broke state law, but did not make any recommendation regarding criminal charges.

Bashore was paid an annual salary of about $132,000 and received an extensive benefits package, including medical and dental plan, life and long-term disability insurance, a company car, an SUV for personal use, and a generous retirement package.

Bashore’s contract also provided for a $175,000 housing loan, $25,000 of which was forgiven immediately and $12,500 per year thereafter. Township commissioners claimed that they were never made aware of the loan.

Radnor sued Bashore in December 2009 for over $1 million, an amount which included unauthorized bonuses to about 30 townships employees totaling over $600,000, which were intended to buy employee loyalty. The lawsuit is still pending.
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The Philadelphia Inquirer

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