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Mysterious cash delivery followed official's arrest

Plus, Treasurer Stacy Garrity weighing U.S. Senate run, per Politico.


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Tuesday, May 30, 2023
$93K in cash, election control, Senate field, pipeline permits, 10-year plan, class clash, and anybody want a free lighthouse? It's good to be back.

On the heels of City Manager Herm Suplizio's March arrest in a sprawling corruption case, DuBois' solicitor showed up at City Hall with $93,920 in cash tucked inside a gift bag and no word on where it came from.

According to Spotlight PA's reporting, the solicitor, Toni Cherry, pulled Interim City Manager Chris Nasuti and Police Chief Blaine Clark out of a meeting and advised them to deposit the money without explanation. 

The mysterious origin and handling of the cash are now at the center of yet another storm in a community already reeling from scandal.

Read the full report: A DuBois official was arrested on corruption charges. Then nearly $100K in cash arrived at city hall.

THE CONTEXT: Suplizio is accused by the state attorney general's office of stealing more than $600,000 in taxpayer money over nearly a decade.

The sudden appearance of almost $100,000 in cash after his arrest has only intensified the feeling of unease in DuBois, and sown doubts about the efficacy of the accountability mechanisms in place.

"I don't know where the money originated," Nasuti said. "It was brought here. Chief Clark and I took it to the bank. We secured it, opened a new account. [...] The attorney general knows we have the money. So that's where it is."

Cherry declined to comment when reached by Spotlight PA.

Read more: How Herm Suplizio allegedly bilked DuBois, PA of $600K.

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"It was embarrassing to me. It was hurtful. I did not find it funny."

Kassie, a customer whose receipt at the Aviation Inn in Duncansville referred to her with the N-word; according to WTAJ, owner Allen Butterbaugh said the slur was used deliberately but as a joke, and Kassie wasn't supposed to see
» ELDER LAW: Join us Thursday, June 1 at 6 p.m. ET via Zoom for a free Q&A on Pennsylvania's elder protection laws and how they could be improved. Register here and submit questions to events@spotlightpa.org
My family had to let our 11-year-old yellow lab, Spencer, go this weekend. Spencer never met a human or food he didn't like. This is the first of these newsletters I've written without him lying feet away listening to me mutter. The co-postmaster has signed off, we miss him like crazy, and I wanted everyone to know. Send us your photos (of pets or anything, really) by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag @spotlightpennsylvania.
My wife kisses our yellow lab Spencer goodbye in the animal hospital.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.LOCAL CONTROL: Less than half of the local candidates identified by Votebeat and Spotlight PA as having alleged fraud in elections or expressed doubts about election security won their May 16 primaries, and experts say that's good news headed into a key election year. But the ones that did win are expected to also win in November, putting them in a position to shape local voting rules ahead of 2024.

Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.INTO THE FOLD: State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R., Franklin) isn't running for U.S. Senate after all, but Republican state Treasurer Stacy Garrity might be. Politico reports Garrity isn't ruling out a run against Democratic Incumbent Bob Casey — who's won six statewide elections — in 2024. Republicans want hedge-funder David McCormick to run, but even some of them are doubting his chances against Casey.

Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.MOUNTAIN VALLEY: The text of a federal debt ceiling bill released on Sunday would approve all the remaining permits to complete the contested Mountain Valley Pipeline. Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers have been vocal in supporting the project, which doesn't directly touch the commonwealth but would serve the Shale industry here and is being built by Pittsburgh's Equitrans.

Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.MASTER PLAN: The Pennsylvania Department of Aging is developing a 10-year Master Plan for infrastructure and coordination of services for older Pennsylvanians after Gov. Josh Shapiro directed it to. You can provide feedback here. Spotlight PA found little follow-through on an action plan, commissioned in 2013 by then-Gov. Tom Corbett on the state's growing dementia crisis, seven years after its completion.

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.CULTURE CLASH: A conservative legal group is suing to stop Pennsylvania's plan for "culturally relevant" teacher trainings, The Inquirer (paywall) reports. The Thomas More Society and a group of western Pennsylvania school districts, school board members, teachers, and parents argue that the state informally and improperly imposed the guidelines to address bias in the educational system. 
🏆 PA POP QUIZ: Put your news knowledge to the test with the latest edition of The Great PA News Quiz: Unclaimed billions, gun laws, official tweets, and the unofficial start of summer.

'DEPLORABLE CONDITIONS': Seven children are in protective custody and their parents are facing felony charges after police say they discovered a padlocked fridge and "unsanitary" and "unsafe" conditions in the family's Bucks County home. The children range in age from four to 16.

WHOLE HOMES: Applications open today in Allegheny County for Whole-Home Repairs Program grants of up to $50,000 for homeowners and small landlords who need to make property repairs. Allegheny County's housing stock is especially old, and deferred maintenance is especially common.

BEAR ATTACK: Pennsylvania Game Commission officials say the bear responsible for a non-fatal attack on two children in a Luzerne County driveway last week has been captured and euthanized.

NO DRINKING: Wildwood, New Jersey, an annual destination for scores of Pennsylvania beachgoers, has banned alcohol on the beach and boardwalk this year — whether it's in open or closed containers.

FREE LIGHTHOUSE: Want a free lighthouse? The federal government is giving away 10 of them, including the Erie Harbor North Pier Lighthouse in Pennsylvania. The goal is to preserve them as their relevance fades.

Support Spotlight PA's vital investigative and public-service journalism and your gift will be DOUBLED.
Unscramble and send your answer to scrambler@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag. Answers submitted by 6 p.m. on issue date will be counted.

Friday's answer: Unabashedly

Congrats to our weekly winner: Aletha W.

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