Orange Township fires longtime zoning inspector


Orange Township’s longtime zoning inspector was fired Friday.

Orange Township trustees, in a special meeting, voted 3-0 to terminate the employment of Tom Farahay, effective immediately.

Farahay, who worked for the township for about 15 years, is accused of “falsification of records, stealing cash for personal benefit and submitting false reports and receipts to the fiscal officer,” according to a document obtained by The Gazette.

He could not be reached for comment. An auto reply from his email stated he is “out of the office without a scheduled return date.”

Farahay was scheduled to have a pre-disciplinary hearing Wednesday with township Administrator Gail Messmer, but he did not attend.

Last month, Messmer filed a report with the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, which is currently investigating charges of theft in office, tampering with records and forgery by a township employee.

In light of the ongoing investigation, Messmer declined to comment further.

Trustee Lisa Knapp said she was disappointed to learn of Farahay’s conduct.

“This theft and fraud case shows Orange Township has a clear lack of internal controls in our fiscal practices and procedures,” she said. “Mr. Farahay was a trusted employee who had been with the township since 2000 and I am very disappointed in him, and in the entire situation.”

Knapp has requested a special audit be conducted in the township to determine the extent of the theft.

Theft in office and forgery are both fifth-degree felonies. Tampering with records is a third-degree felony.

Charges have not yet been filed.

Farahay is a former reporter at The Gazette.