Investigation of fired zoning inspector completed


The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office has concluded its investigation into allegations that a former Orange Township employee stole taxpayers’ dollars and tampered with records to hide the theft.

Although Tom Farahay, the township’s former zoning inspector, has not been charged with a crime, the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing the evidence collected by the sheriff’s office.

Julie Datko, a spokeswoman in the prosecutor’s office, said there is not a timeline for the review of evidence.

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 an Orange Township pre-disciplinary report.

He could not be reached for comment.

Farahay was scheduled to have a pre-disciplinary hearing earlier this month with township Administrator Gail Messmer, but he did not attend. He was fired just days after he failed to attend the meeting

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

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

Township officials have said the extent of the theft is unclear. Trustee Lisa Knapp has called for a special audit to determine the extent of the theft.

She has also claimed that Farahay’s alleged theft is a sign of deeper problems in the township, possibly even a “cover-up.”

However, her fellow elected officials in the township have rejected that allegation and called on Knapp to provide evidence to back her assertions.