Authorities with the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General announced the arrest of DuBois City manager John “Herm” Suplizio on fraud and theft charges.
Investigators say Suplizio is accused of stealing over $600,000 from various city bank accounts, as well as from the DuBois Area United Way, an organization that he served as executive director for.
Authorities alleged that Suplizio used the stolen funds to make personal bill payments, political donations and to gamble.
“Suplizio was a trusted public official who should have been acting in the best interests of his community, Instead, he betrayed that trust by stealing hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for his own personal use. This egregious violation of the trust Pennsylvanians put in their officials is disgraceful. Today’s arrest is a reminder that no one is above the law, and that everyone who holds public office in Pennsylvania is accountable to the people.”
Investigators say the majority of the stolen funds came from an account used for the DuBois Community Days, an annual event hosted by the DuBois Volunteer Fire Department.
Authorities say Suplizio also used his position as city manager to enter contracts with businesses for which he would then receive personal benefits.
Investigators noted that, from 2014 to 2021, Suplizio is alleged to have falsified his tax returns by paying for numerous expenses with public money and then claiming them as unreimbursed expenses on his taxes.
“Allegations of corruption can shake the public’s confidence in our governmental structures. However, thanks to Attorney General Henry, Senior Deputy AG Carroll, the State Police, and other organizations, the public can be assured that law enforcement and prosecutors stand ready to hold all public figures accountable for their actions,”
Authorities say Suplizio faces five counts of theft, one count of conflict of interest, one count of misapplication of entrusted property and eight counts of fraud.
“These allegations are extremely concerning and I am anxious to learn more details. The people in DuBois are hardworking and the alleged actions of one person should not reflect poorly on all,”
“On behalf of all of City Council, I share our disappointment upon learning today about the allegations against our long-time City Manager, Herm Suplizio. For over two decades, Herm has served DuBois with a passion and determination that has grown its reputation and profile well beyond that of similar cities. Out of respect for Herm, as well as the judicial process, we will reserve comment on these allegations until a more appropriate time. However, Council will remain vigilant in our oversight of City funds and its employees. We will continue to monitor the matter and further our own review of the facts moving forward. We are committed to ensuring integrity is maintained within DuBois city government, which, we believe epitomizes Herm’s tenure as City Manager. We appreciate all the kind words in support of Herm and the City that we have received from members of the community, and we thank you all for your patience with this deliberative process.”