Treasurer charged with stealing from township

THORNBURY TOWNSHIP, Pa. - September 3, 2008 For the past eight years she was the trusted secretary treasurer of Thornbury Township, charged with guarding taxpayers' money. Instead Delaware County authorities say she was robbing them blind.

Delaware County District Attorney Mike Green said in a press conference today, "Well, it's atrocious. She walked off with $250,000, or thereabouts, based on today's charges."

51-year-old Debbie Perry turned herself in this morning. Sources say she admits to embezzling a little cash over the years… investigators say a lot of cash. Between her and her boyfriend it was close to 275-thousand dollars. Police say she did it little by little - small accounts on expense reports, and charges to various stores, gas stations.

The scheme only came to light last Christmas day. Sources say that's when Perry had a falling out with her boyfriend, Jim Hance. It was Hance who called the township solicitor to say he and Perry had been charging up a storm on township credit cards.

Hance is also facing charges, and police are looking for him right now. Together they face hundreds of theft and receiving stolen property charges.

The D.A. says this should be a warning to other municipalities about how they handle their money. He said, "You just can't have one person handling all of the financing. Everything from receiving payments to writing checks, to carrying out the banking transactions for the municipality."

This is an ongoing investigation and the dollar amounts may go even higher.

Police want to hear from you in the meantime if you've seen Jim Hance anywhere.

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