Beford Tax Collection Charges

By Kevin Flanigan

Published 02/20 2014 06:47PM

Updated 02/20 2014 07:00PM

BEDFORD  -  An  audit of financial record in Bedford County  has lead to a State Police Investigation and criminal charges  against a couple of  local tax collectors.   The  2011  audit findings and recommendations  lead to questions about  how  three elected officials  in the County handled the  tax money they collected.
There has been one guilty plea  from Emily Pravata, the former tax collector of Manns Choice Borough ,   as a result of the investigation.  Another  former tax collector,   Colleen  Peake of Rainsburg Borough   was in court yesterday to be arraigned on charges  of theft and failure to make a disposition of funds.
The Bedford County District Attorney, Bill Higgins,    says  a  problem with state regulations  may have  allowed the missing funds to go undiscovered for some time.  

"On of the problems is the lack of real over sight over those accounts.  The tax collector is charged with collecting the money and on a certain  date turing it over.    There is really no way the check and balance  when the individual taxpayers paid, when when that money was turned over to the county  or the school district."

Higgins says there are nearly forty locally elected   tax collectors in Bedford County.   He says almost all of those local  officials  do their jobs well and keep accurate financial records.

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