DA: Upland councilman got $100,000 in kickbacks

Chad Pradelli Image
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
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UPLAND, Pa. (WPVI) -- A councilman in one Delaware County borough is charged with carrying out a fraud that padded his pockets with $100,000.

The District Attorney says Edward Mitchell got kickbacks from a company that was hired by Upland borough.

Ed Mitchell had no comment as he and his alleged accomplice, Thomas Willard, were on their way to face theft conspiracy and wiretapping charges.

District Attorney Jack Whelan says Mitchell steered Upland borough business to Willard's company, Logan Technology Solutions, and received a 10-15% kickback.

Logan Technology installed fire and security systems in borough properties.

"Between 2009 to 2015, Logan Technology, Tom Willard, bills the borough of Upland almost $1 million," said Whelan.

Loose wires seen in the council chambers and administrative offices used to be hidden cameras disguised as motion sensors. Two little holes at the base of the council platform were hidden microphones.

Whelan says the motive for the spying equipment is unclear.

"It's no wonder I present this to you with disgust and outrage, that an elected official would go to this length," Whelan said.

Whelan say Willard also billed the borough for police dashcams that he never purchased at a total cost of $30,000.

He says Mitchell received an estimated $100,000 in kickbacks over the past five years and most was delivered to his home in cash.

The councilman's alleged scheme unraveled after Mayor Michael Ciach discovered the hidden cameras.

"Ed is 74 years old, he has served Upland honorably. He is a veteran. He denies all allegations against him and looks forward to his day in court," said Mitchell's attorney, John Flannery.

The investigation has been underway for nearly a year. Ed Mitchell remains a council member and attended a hearing on Tuesday night.