Former Dallas Area Municipal Authority chairman Craig Tupper fined $2,500

By Melanie Mizenko - mmizenko@timesleader.com | November 29th, 2016 6:06 pm

DALLAS — An effort to meet sales goals will cost a former Dallas Area Municipal Authority chairman $2,500.

According to the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission, Craig Tupper violated the State Public Official and Employee Ethics Act when he “utilized the authority of his public position” to guide where DAMA monies should be held.

The agreement between Tupper and the commission shows Tupper will pay a $2,000 fine to the state and another $500 to cover costs of the investigation.

According to the commission report, Tupper was a branch manager for banks, including KNBT, PS Bank, First National and Luzerne Bank. Part of his job, according to the report, was for Tupper to bring in new business.

From the years 2011 to 2014, Tupper’s financial interest statements did not disclose his employers or what his exact job title was.

The commission found that Tupper used his position on DAMA to move money into banks where he worked.

The findings of the report show between May 6, 2010, and Sept. 10, 2010, DAMA’s Citizens Bank accounts, which held at least $502,077.16, were transferred to KNBT Bank’s Shavertown location.

Though Tupper abstained from voting for the change in financial institutions, the report alleges the transfer wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t been employed at the bank.

Tupper received more than $5,000 in bonuses through years 2010 to 2012, while operating DAMA and having accounts at KNBT.

The bonuses, the commission found, were earned with KNBT’s policy on regional production goals. Tupper didn’t not receive any finder’s fee for the transfer of funds.

Tupper became branch manager of PS Bank in Tunkhannock in November 2012.

In 2013, Tupper provided authority Treasurer Brent Snowdon a proposal on PS Bank stationery for a Municipal Money Market Account with a one percent interest rate on balances over $25,000.

The account proposal was turned over for board consideration though proposals for investment rates were never requested.

Also in 2013, DAMA moved their long-range plan from Wells Fargo to PS Bank.

The findings also found Tupper participated in a process which resulted in $1.9 million in DAMA founds being transferred to PS bank between Feb. 26, 2013, and March 21, 2013.

Along with the $2,500 fine, Tupper is directed to not accept any reimbursement from DAMA and file a complete and accurate financial interest statement.

Tupper also was told to resign, which he did during a July 14 special meeting, according to DAMA meeting minutes.

A call to DAMA Solicitor Benjamin Jones was not returned Tuesday.

https://www.mydallaspost.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_Court.jpg

By Melanie Mizenko

mmizenko@timesleader.com

Reach Melanie Mizenko at 570-991-6116 or on Twitter @TL_MMizenko


POLL