Moore's preliminary hearing scheduled for April 21
By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Originally scheduled for Feb. 11, the preliminary hearing for former township manager Lisa Moore will take place on April 21, beginning at 9 a.m. at District Court 15-3-04, located at 916 West Cypress Street in Kennett Square. District Judge Albert Michael Iacocca will be presiding.
The preliminary trial will be open to the public. The courtroom has a seating capacity of 30.
After an eight-month investigation, the Chester County District Attorney's Office arrested Moore on Dec. 10, 2019 for allegedly embezzling a total of $3,249,453 from the township, dating back to 2013. She was charged with felony theft, forgery, computer crimes and related offenses. A once-prominent figure in local politics and the Kennett community, Moore is alleged to have devised her own personal parlor game of trickery with township funds that were intended to be used for employee benefits, the township's police department, land preservation and several other township operations.
The DA’s investigation also revealed that Moore had allegedly used the stolen money to pay for extravagant personal expenses, as well as extensive foreign travel and clothing and jewelry purchases.
Hired by the township in 1997, Moore was promoted to township manager in 2010, a position that gave her oversight and access to virtually all of the township's financial operations. The report said that, allegedly, Moore had money paid directly to herself, but never recorded the disbursements in the township's records. On other occasions, she would have the money paid to herself, but would record the payments as being made to known and normal vendors who did business with the township.
Over the course of her tenure as township manager, Moore allegedly rewarded herself with higher salaries. She had an annual salary of between $120,000 and $130,000 for the township, but managed to raise her salary regularly to over $200,000 by claiming she worked over 3,000 hours per year. In 2017, she booked herself for working 3,612 hours — or an average of 10 hours a day for 365 consecutive days – which led to rewarding herself a salary of $295,000 for these fabricated work hours.
At one time, the township required two signatures for certain checks – one by Moore and the other by a township supervisor – but Moore allegedly side-stepped a second signature by using a stamp with the signature of Scudder Stevens, then the chairman of the township’s Board of Supervisors. When she needed checks paid to herself or her credit card accounts, she would write the check, sign it herself and then use Stevens’ stamped signature.
Moore also allegedly engaged in acts of money laundering – transferring money from one township account to another – giving the appearance of normal transactions. She would then make another transfer, secretly moving the money from a second township account to one of her own accounts.
Moore was subsequently free after posting an unsecured bail in the amount of $500,000 after her December arrest.
Moore will be represented by West Chester attorney Julia Alexa Rogers of the Ciccarelli Law Offices. An experienced litigation attorney, Rogers represents the firm’s clients in both family law and criminal law, and is the firm’s director of litigation. The prosecuting attorneys in the hearing will be Assistant District Attorney William Judge and Chief Deputy District Attorney Michelle E. Frei.
As it will apply to Moore’s appearance as a defendant on April 21, her preliminary hearing will allow Iacocca to hear from her attorney and the prosecuting attorneys in order to determine whether there is enough evidence to prove that Moore committed the crimes that she has been accused of. If it is determined that there is enough probable cause, the case will be moved to final disposition at the Court of Common Pleas in West Chester.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.