Call it "Big Trouble in Little Yeadon: Part III."
Terri Peifer-Vaughn, the Delaware County borough's former finance director, was charged yesterday by the state Attorney General's Office with pilfering $70,000 from Yeadon's coffers.
Investigators say her modus operandi was simple: Cash and checks that she was supposed to deposit "never made it to the bank," according to the criminal complaint.
Vaughn, 48, of Philadelphia, declined to comment yesterday after she was arraigned on felony counts of theft and unlawful use of a computer. She was released on $20,000 unsecured bail.
"You'd think by now people would understand that if you engage in this kind of behavior, it's going to catch up to you," said Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office. "In this day and age, it's very difficult to hide financial diversions for any period of time."
Special Agent Thomas Mincavage wrote in the affidavit for Vaughn's arrest that she had posted the checks in the borough's computer system as having been deposited, but the bank statements told a different story.
In all, Vaughn is accused of failing to deposit $64,613 in checks and $5,444 in cash, some of which came from the police department.
"It's a very sad situation," said former Yeadon Council President Vivian Ford. "I was very fond of her. When no one else in the borough would give her a second chance, my administration did. It's disappointing to find out that she allegedly committed this."
Vaughn's arrest is yet another black eye for Yeadon, which is trying to recover from two years of political turmoil.
In 2008, Vaughn filed a criminal complaint against then-Councilman Terry McGirth, which alleged that McGirth, a felon-turned-evangelist-turned-politician, grabbed her "against her will, kissed her mouth, stuck his tongue into her mouth and licked all around." He pleaded guilty to harassment, but the plea deal called for no punishment.
Last year, a Delaware County judged removed McGirth from office due to his 2003 conviction for stealing more than $100,000 from a Chester County kidney-dialysis company for which he had worked.
"Sticky fingers will always catch up with you," Frederiksen said.
McGirth's ouster led to a monthlong shutdown of the borough council when McGirth's council allies boycotted the meetings - making a quorum impossible - to block the opposing faction from appointing his replacement and shifting the balance of power.