UNIONTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – Antoinette Hodge, who served as the Uniontown City Treasurer in Fayette County, is facing charges for allegedly stealing approximately $106,000 in taxpayer funds, according to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office.
According to an affidavit released on Tuesday, Uniontown City officials made investigators aware of issues and discrepancies noted regarding the city treasurer’s office. During the investigation, Pennsylvania State Police discovered at least $106,750 was missing from city funds.
The funds represented city income from various sources, including city and school tax proceeds that were under the city treasurer’s office’s control.
State Police say the evidence was presented to the 48th statewide Investigating Grand Jury, which took testimony from several witnesses and recommended Hodge’s arrest.
The grand jury report states that more than a dozen taxpayers received delinquency notices despite them paying taxes, mostly in cash. A forensic investigator interviewed Hodge and reported her denying knowledge of missing deposits from May 2021, but that she claimed the July deposits were made a few days prior to their meeting.
The forensic investigator later testified that Hodge delivered the missing deposits from May and July 2021 to the bank the day after their meeting.
The Uniontown City deputy treasurer also noted that Hodge had taken several vacations since becoming Treasurer, including trips to Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Disney World. Hodge was also reported to be planning a trip to Paris, would buy lunch for office staff daily, and bought expensive scratch-off lottery tickets daily.
A convenience store manager testified that Hodge spent hundreds of dollars per day on lottery tickets and skills machines. Hodge was also found to allegedly have a history of gambling with thousands of dollars in losses.
Hodge, who was elected in 2019, testified to the grand jury that she only played “cheap” scratch-off tickets and that she is “cheap.”
Hodge has been charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking, Receiving Stolen Property, Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Funds Received, Misapplication of Entrusted Property, Obstructing Administration of Law or other Governmental Function, and Perjury.
Hodge was released on $75,000 bail, according to court records.
This case was referred to the Office of the Attorney General from the Fayette County District Attorney’s Office. Charges were filed by the Pennsylvania State Police Western Organized Crime Unit. This case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Kara Rice.