- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) - The fired treasurer of a western Pennsylvania township has waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges he stole nearly $800,000 from taxpayers during his 14 years in office.

Forty-nine-year-old Brian Tanner, of New Castle, surrendered last week when Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa announced more than 500 counts of forgery and theft-related crimes against Tanner.

Defense attorney David Acker has said Tanner was cooperating with authorities before he waived his hearing Wednesday.

Tanner was fired from his $57,000-a-year job as secretary/treasurer in July. That’s when auditors determined he wrote more than 200 checks worth more than $453,000 to himself and a township auditor - who has also been fired - from 2011 to 2013.

Subsequent audits found $1.2 million in questionable expenditures, some $800,000 of which the DA said are flatly illegal.

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