Former Munhall Manager Charged With Embezzling $230K From Borough

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Former Munhall borough manager Matt Galla was arrested Tuesday for allegedly embezzling more than $230,000 from the borough between 2010 and 2013.

Galla, 44, of West Mifflin, who was hired as a part-time clerk for the borough in 2009, became manager in December 2010 and had the position until he abruptly resigned last June.

According to court documents, Galla had a budgeted salary of $60,000. In the complaint, Detective William Miller wrote that Galla overpaid himself by nearly $12,000 in 2010, $85,000 in 2011, $80,000 in 2012 and $53,000 during the first six months of 2013.

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmckeesport/yourmckeesportmore/5871094-74/galla-borough-payroll#ixzz2xg66dph8
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Munhall Awaiting Decision On Loan Amid Fiscal Turmoil

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By today’s end, Munhall officials expect to know if private financing for a tax anticipation loan will be available to the borough, averting the need for layoffs of police and public works employees.

Council was forced in recent weeks to advertise for private financing after it could not get a regular bank loan because the borough did not have its annual audits for 2011 and 2012 performed by an independent auditor and filed with the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

That revelation is one of a number of surprises that council members say they’ve faced since Matt Galla abruptly resigned as borough manager June 17. The other surprises include the fact that appropriate pension contributions were not made to employee pension plans in 2011 and 2012, that many borough records, including employees’ salary histories, are gone from the borough offices, and that the borough lost $360,000 in regional asset district funds.

Since June, two interim managers and a certified public accountant have been trying to reconstruct the borough’s records. That reconstruction has shown that Mr. Galla may have paid himself more than his approved $60,000 salary.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/south/2014/02/10/Munhall-awaiting-decision-on-loan-amid-fiscal-turmoil/stories/201402100093#ixzz2swAw1oXw

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Pittsburgh And Its Suburbs Having Success With Surveillance Cameras

Security camera at London (Heathrow) Airport. ...

Image via Wikipedia

The City of Pittsburgh and some adjacent suburbs are successfully using surveillance cameras to deter and solve crime. 

Pittsburgh has surveillance cameras in place downtown and in various neighborhoods throughout the city.  According to their 2009 Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Police, Annual Report, there are 120 cameras throughout the city they hope to tie-in to a wireless platform at the Emergency Operations Center and other key locations for constant monitoring of video and data transmissions. 

Another goal is to have at least 32 cameras on 16 bridges.  The mayor also wants to install gunshot locator and detection cameras in high-risk neighborhoods. (I believe Harrisburg uses these.)

Pittsburgh is adding 28 more cameras, using a $3 million grant along with 25 percent matching funds from the city, as part of the Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime program.  Pittsburgh’s ultimate goal is a city-wide camera system, which includes the Port of Pittsburgh (the second largest inland port in the U.S.)

Surveillance cameras will be added in suburban Swissvale, prompted by a rash of crime in Regent Square.  Three cameras will be installed along Braddock Avenue within two months.  Ten to twelve more cameras will be added at other locations in the borough.  Each camera costs $9,000, which includes installation, but there are grants available for municipalities to buy surveillance cameras.

Other communities with surveillance cameras include Homestead, West Homestead and Munhall.

Under Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Pittsburgh has experienced three consecutive years of historic-crime-lows, according to the city’s website.  According to our friends at City-data.com, Pittsburgh’s crime index has dropped from 558.3 in 2007 to 474.8 in 2009 (Pottstown’s 2009 crime index was 454.7 if you live locally). Murders dropped from 72 in 2008 to 39 in 2009.  Most crime categories showed drops between 2008 and 2009.  2010 crime data is not available at this time.

HINT: If the inexpensive crime tracking software Scranton purchased was used to determine surveillance camera placement that would seem to be an ideal crime fighting tool for Pottstown’s core neighborhood!  Just sayin’….