Northampton police say treasurer stole from Salvo House tenants association to pay veterinarian
NORTHAMPTON — The treasurer of the Walter Salvo House tenants association Wednesday denied criminal charges alleging that he stole association funds, money he said he needed to pay for veterinary bills for his cat, according to a police report.
Donald Moran, 70, of 81 Conz St., Apt. 414, pleaded not guilty in Northampton District Court to a charge of larceny over $250 by a single scheme. He was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court for a pre-trial hearing July 10.
Moran is alleged to have withdrawn more than $1,200 in tenants association funds on several occasions earlier this year from a local bank account on which he was a cosigner. The missing funds were discovered in May when Daniel Kahle, outgoing president of the tenants association, and Roy Martin, the incoming president, traveled to a local bank with Moran to change the names on the account.
After a deposit to the account in February of $1,140, the balance on the account was $6.11 at that visit to the bank, according to court documents. A police investigation found that Moran had allegedly withdrawn money on five occasions, including a $600 withdrawal around the time he was to have deposited the $1,140 in association funds in February.
The Walter Salvo House falls under the Northampton Housing Authority and receives approximately $1,100 annually from the authority for various programs it runs throughout the year, including an upcoming July 4 picnic.
“The tenants association investigated and decided to bring charges,” said Jon Hite, the housing authority’s executive director. “We advised them to call the police, which they did.”
When confronted about the missing funds, Moran told Martin and Kahle that he withdrew the money because he had an emergency involving his cat, according to court documents and an interview with Martin.
Moran later told police that he needed to pay $3,872 in veterinary bills for his cat, which needed an operation.
Moran was not arrested because he was cooperative, according to police. Hite said the Northampton Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners has advanced the Walter Salvo House tenants association $1,000 so that it can fund its various programs in the coming year.
Dan Crowley can be reached at email@example.com.