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Harrisburg treasurer charged with felony theft

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Harrisburg Treasurer John Campbell today was charged with a third-degree felony and first-degree misdemeanor in the theft of nearly $8,500 from the Historic Harrisburg Association, his former employer.

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico said Campbell, 26, allegedly wrote himself 10 checks from the “Light Up Harrisburg” account between Dec. 23, 2013, and July 7. The association’s board reported the discrepancy about a week ago when officials were checking account balances, Marsico said.

Campbell served as executive director of the association for about five years before resigning in April to accept the position of development director at Equality Pennsylvania. He continued to do the bookkeeping work for the association on a pro bono basis until mid-July.

“There is no reason to suspect anything in connection with his job as treasurer,” the DA said.

The felony count of theft carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison, Marsico said. The penalties are likely to be much less, he added.

Marsico said Campbell is expected to turn himself into authorities in the coming days.

Mayor Eric Papenfuse will hold a 2 p.m. news conference to name Paul Wambach as interim treasurer.

Wambach spent more than 20 years as treasurer for the city, retiring in December 2012. Papenfuse is appointing Wambach by executive order after the allegations against Campbell.

“Paul Wambach is highly respected for his integrity and dedication to the city,” Papenfuse said in a statement. “We thank him for stepping up to serve at this important moment.”

Papenfuse has asked city auditors Maher Duessel and city Controller Charles DuBrunner to increase their scrutiny of the city’s accounts to ensure there are no improprieties.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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