Related topics

No Charges for Suburban Pa. Mayor

March 8, 2002

DARBY, Pa. (AP) _ A suburban Philadelphia mayor used ``poor judgment″ but will not face criminal charges for spending more than $8,000 of an elderly constituent’s money on trips, car payments and clothing, authorities said.

Mayor Paula Brown took in Michael Martyszko, a 90-year-old retiree who speaks little English, in 2000 after he was robbed and his house was torched by an arsonist.

Brown, 41, took time off from work to care for Martyszko and obtained power of attorney, a legal designation that allowed her access to Martyszko’s finances.

Authorities said Brown, in the fall of 2000, spent $277 of Martyszko’s money on clothing, $441 on a trip to the New Jersey seashore and wrote checks totaling $5,240. She also paid for Martyszko’s medical bills.

Brown was entitled to the money under state law because of the power of attorney, District Attorney Patricia Holsten said.

``The way she went about it may have raised some eyebrows, but when we investigated, there was nothing criminal in her actions,″ Holsten said.

Brown, who no longer has access to Martyszko’s finances, said she should have handled the expenses differently.

``I was never good in math. I’m not a CPA,″ Brown said. ``But I try to help as many people as I can, and that’s all I did with Mike _ try and help him.″

Update hourly