AG: County’s top public defender approved $26K in comp time for campaign work

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Dauphin County’s chief public defender is charged with theft and records tampering after state prosecutors say he approved over $26,000 in compensatory time for employees who worked on a political campaign.

Brad Winnick, 47, of Hummelstown, gave his employees the comp time for working at polling stations in support of a judicial candidate during the primary and general elections of 2017, the state attorney general’s office said Thursday.

Winnick granted double comp time to employees for each hour they worked, prosecutors said, so each employee who worked 13 hours on election days received 26 hours of time.

Between the two election days, Winnick is believed to have granted his employees a total of $26,265.92 in compensatory time.

Winnick also instructed the deputy administrator not to enter the time off into payroll records, so the records would show the employees worked when they were really at the polls, authorities said.

Winnick is charged with theft of services, tampering with public information, and conflict of interest. He was arraigned before a district judge Thursday and immediately waived a preliminary hearing, according to online court records.

Winnick has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation. He has been the county’s chief public defender since 2011.

In a statement, Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George Hartwick III said the charges are “very serious and disappointing.”

ABC27 News first reported Tuesday that charges against Winnick were pending.

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