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Topton, PA 19562
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Mackenzie Bill to Enhance Municipal Theft Penalties Passes House
1/28/2014
HARRISBURG – Legislation that would allow judges to add jail time to the sentences of individuals convicted of stealing funds from municipal governments unanimously passed the House on Jan. 27, said Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Berks/Lehigh), author of the proposal. The measure will now go to the Senate for further consideration.

Following a series of high-profile incidents of municipal theft in the Lehigh Valley, Mackenzie set out to craft legislation that would deter would-be thieves from siphoning away the tax dollars with which they were entrusted. What Mackenzie discovered was shocking.

“We discovered that cases of municipal theft were not limited to the Lehigh Valley,” said Mackenzie. “The problem was much more widespread across the Commonwealth than many would have imagined, underscoring the importance of taking action to restore public trust in our units of government. The passage of my legislation is good first start in this effort.”

Modifications to state law last year made the theft of $100,000 or more punishable by up to 10 years in prison, while the theft of $500,000 or more now carries a maximum sentences of up to 20 years behind bars. The Mackenzie measure would enhance those penalties further, allowing a judge to extend those sentences by up to five years if the theft occurred from a government entity or charitable organization.

“Not only have municipal governments been affected by cases of large-scale theft, but many charitable organizations, like youth sports leagues and volunteer fire companies, have seen their accounts drained by dishonest caretakers and employees,” said Mackenzie. “The bill passed by the House sends a strong message that such breaches of trust are taken seriously in Pennsylvania and will not be tolerated.”

For more information, please visit www.RepMackenzie.com.

Representative Ryan Mackenzie
134th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Ryan Travis, 717.260.6335
rtravis@pahousegop.com  
RepMackenzie.com / Facebook.com/RepMackenzie
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