A former maintenance supervisor for the Pennsylvania Turnpike and part-time Montgomery County District Court constable was arrested this week and charged with stealing services and materials from the Turnpike Commission.
Ronald J. Kozlowski, 68, of Plymouth Meeting, was charged Monday with seven criminal counts. He was released on $50,000 unsecured bond. The charges were first reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Kozlowski, a tradesman maintenance superintendent at the turnpike's District 5 shop near the Lehigh Tunnel, was fired by the turnpike in 2009 after an internal investigation. The criminal charges were brought by the state Attorney General's Office as part of a continuing grand-jury investigation into corruption at the turnpike agency.
Kozlowski is accused of directing turnpike employees to provide construction services for him and to use a Turnpike Commission purchasing card to buy him thousands of dollars worth of plumbing supplies, electrical equipment, lighting supplies, thermostats, decking, lumber, and other building materials.
Kozlowski is also accused of lying under oath to the grand jury and defrauding the turnpike of $1,687 in salary that he was paid for hours he also billed to the office of Conshohocken District Judge Francis J. Bernhardt for his work as a constable.
Bernhardt's office said Friday that Kozlowski had not worked for the judge for several years.
Kozlowski was hired by the turnpike in 1988 and was being paid $72,559 a year at the time of his termination in January 2009, turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo said Friday.
After the internal investigation by Turnpike Commission Inspector General Anthony Maniscola, Kozlowski was fired, and turnpike purchasing procedures were changed, DeFebo said.
Purchasing-card activity is now monitored daily, and computer records give turnpike managers better control of card purchasing, DeFebo said.
Kozlowski did not respond Friday to a request for comment on the charges.
The attorney general's office has been investigating political corruption, contract irregularities and nepotism at the turnpike commission for at least a year and a half.
The state investigation follows the 2008 federal prosecution of former Philadelphia state Sen. Vincent J. Fumo and former legislative aide Ruth Arnao for numerous crimes, some related to turnpike business.