Did you know Spotlight PA is a nonprofit? Learn more about our nonpartisan journalism »
Skip to main content
Main content

Mystery bag of cash central to new DuBois charges

Plus, poll has Biden, Trump 'essentially tied' in Pa.

The logo of PA Post, a free daily newsletter delivering the top news from across Pennsylvania every day.

A daily newsletter by The logo of Spotlight PA, an independent, nonpartisan newsroom producing investigative journalism for Pennsylvania.
Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen

Thursday, October 5, 2023
In today's edition: corruption case, health strike, EMS emergency, presidential polling, hazing response, population trends, and Weird Ben Franklin.
New charges were filed Wednesday in a sweeping corruption case against suspended DuBois City Manager Herm Suplizio, many related to a bag of cash that showed up at City Hall soon after his March arrest.

Suplizio was charged in March with stealing hundreds of thousands of public and nonprofit dollars over several years. Weeks later the city's solicitor, Toni Cherry, delivered a bag containing $93,920 in cash to other officials. 

It wasn't clear at that time where that money came from, but 23 criminal counts — including 13 felonies — filed against Suplizio Wednesday (effectively replacing the 15 counts levied previously) offer new insights. 

Read Spotlight PA's full report on the new counts: More corruption charges brought against suspended DuBois city manager.

THE CONTEXT: According to investigators, the $93,920 in cash, which Cherry said originally belonged to a city summer celebration fund, was hidden in the ceiling at the DuBois Area United Way, where Suplizio served as executive director, and initially discovered by employees of the nonprofit.

Authorities say the money was found inside a ceiling in four lockboxes, the keys to which were found in Suplizio's desk. 

Cherry told City Council members during a closed-door meeting in May that Suplizio had brought her the cash weeks earlier, and that she had held onto it to prevent confiscation by Pennsylvania's Office of Attorney General.

When interviewed by the AG’s office, however, investigators claim Cherry said she did not remember when Suplizio, 63, gave it to her.

Suplizio is also facing new charges in connection with efforts he allegedly made to shield the former mayor from shoplifting charges. Cherry is not facing any charges and could not immediately be reached for comment.

"We need aggressive action on climate, which means in Pennsylvania not just reducing our consumption but reducing our production."

—Karen Feridun on activists' growing frustration with Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro's approach to climate change and the fossil fuel industry
At Spotlight PA, we put voters front and center in our nonpartisan election coverage. Get all the information you need to make an informed vote this September by visiting our Election Center website

» Complete guide to the candidates for Pennsylvania Supreme Court

» Complete guide to the candidates for Commonwealth, Superior Courts

» What to know about the judicial retention questions on Pa. ballots

» Una guía de los candidatos a la Corte Suprema del estado

» Una guía de los candidatos a la Commonwealth y las Cortes Superiores

» Support Spotlight PA's vital, nonpartisan election reporting by making a gift now!
Support Spotlight PA's investigative journalism for Pennsylvania and for a limited time, your gift will be DOUBLED.
» STORY FEST: Spotlight PA is participating in Philly Story Fest, a first-of-its-kind festival that brings together storytellers from across the city on one stage. Join us TODAY from 7-10 p.m. at the Bok building in South Philadelphia (1901 South 9th St.). Tickets are $25 and available here.

» PATH TO EQUITY: Join Spotlight PA for its first in-person summit on Wednesday, Oct. 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg. Spotlight PA is co-presenting this event with Color & Culture, a Pennsylvania marketing firm. Tickets are on sale at this link until sold out.

» ELECTION 101: Join Spotlight PA’s government reporters Kate Huangpu and Stephen Caruso on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 6-7 p.m. ET on Zoom for a free panel on Pa.’s 2023 judicial candidates. Register for the event here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org

Fall in Cook Forest State Park, via @samanthasearsmusic. Have a Pennsylvania photo to share? Send it to us by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.

Trees of various colors lined up at the river's edge.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.ON STRIKE: The largest health care strike in U.S. history got underway Wednesday with 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers in several states walking off the job. They are calling on the health giant to address staffing shortages, raise pay, and avoid outsourcing. WHTM reports Geisinger hospitals in central Pennsylvania are unaffected after Kaiser's deal to acquire the health system, pending regulatory approval.

Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.EMS EXHAUSTION: EMS staffers in York County say that, like striking Kaiser Permanente workers, they're stretched too thin. York Dispatch (paywall) spoke with several current and former EMS workers who "shared similar stories" of burnout and struggling to respond to calls, reflecting a national trend that has coincided with a steep drop in new applicants and one-third of U.S. paramedics quitting in 2021.

Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.2024 POLLING: Another early Quinnipiac University poll has President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump essentially tied in all-important Pennsylvania, NBC's Meet the Press Blog reports. The same poll has incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) leading GOP challenger Dave McCormick by 6 points. Casey is outperforming Biden in his home state, largely thanks to independent voters, the blog adds.

Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.HAZING CASE: A Penn State fraternity has been suspended for four years following a university hazing investigation, via WTAJ. The Delta Theta chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity had been placed on interim suspension in August. The school is no stranger to hazing activity and allegations. Spotlight PA reported in March that the new administration was quietly planning to roll back its Greek life oversight.

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.SHRINK STATE: Rural Pennsylvania's population will continue to shrink and the commonwealth's growth will slow through 2050, The Center for Rural Pennsylvania reports. The legislative agency projects a 5.8% rural county population decline and slower statewide growth over the next 30 years than seen between 2010 and 2020. One expert said it means "significant economic and workforce pressures" ahead.
Join Spotlight PA for an exclusive event on equity and voting. Get your tickets now.

SCRANTON SPOT: Scranton is front and center in a new ad from President Joe Biden's reelection campaign that touts his roots in the city in an effort to appeal to anxious middle-class voters, per Capital-Star. 

PRIZE PROBLEM: UPenn is drawing fire for celebrating a Nobel Prize win by two mRNA-vaccine scientists, one a former employee who was demoted by the school and allegedly discouraged from continuing the research.

LAST ISSUE: Gettysburg College is shutting down its esteemed literary magazine, the Gettysburg Review, citing economic factors. The magazine's editors are taking issue with official statements on the matter.

BEN THINKING: It's been 300 years since Ben Franklin arrived in Philadelphia. The city's paper of record (paywall) has nine "weird" stories about his time in the city, from naked "air baths" to his pet squirrel named Mungo.  

MULLET FAME: What does one do after winning a national mullet competition? Six-year-old Rory Ehrlich of Montco got a gang of llamas, state Capitol recognition, and facetime with the Phillie Phanatic.

Spotlight PA's vital work depends on you. Make a donation now.
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 5:30 p.m. on issue date will be counted.

Yesterday's answer: Pandemonium
Congrats to our daily winners: Eric F., Richard A., Susan N.-Z., Becky C., Stacy S., John E., Jane R., Laurie J., Barbara F., Ted W., Patty R., Don H., Lynne E., Barbara M., Jon W., Carol S., Dan E., Beth T., Elaine C., Steve D., Susan D., Mike B., Dennis M., Daniel M., Joel S., James B., Craig E., Marie B., Karen W., Stanley J., John P., William Z., Johnny C., Wendy A., Tom M., Nancy S., Geoff M., David T., Dan A., and David W.
Like PA Post? Share it with a friend.

Love PA Post? Support it with a tax-deductible gift.

Forwarded this newsletter? Subscribe here.
Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan & nonprofit newsroom producing investigative and public-service journalism that holds the powerful to account and drives positive change in Pennsylvania.

For sponsorship inquiries, email membership@spotlightpa.org.

Copyright © Spotlight PA, All rights reserved.

Spotlight PA
PO Box 11728
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728


You're receiving this email because you subscribed to PA Post, a daily newsletter by Spotlight PA.

This email was sent to: <<Email Address>>

Receiving too many emails from Spotlight PA?

To change your newsletter subscriptions and frequency, you can update your preferences.

To stop receiving fundraising messages, you can update your preferences and select "Opt out of Fundraising."

To stop receiving ALL EMAILS from Spotlight PA, including all of our investigations and newsletters, you can completely unsubscribe here.