Ziegler res­ig­na­tion ac­cepted

In­ter­ested can­di­dates for the po­si­tion are asked to ap­ply

The Boyertown Area Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

DOU­GLASS (MONT.) >> A vote by the board of su­per­vi­sors Mon­day night made it of­fi­cial.

The res­ig­na­tion of Fred Ziegler, un­til last week the board’s vice chair­man, was ac­cepted with­out com­ment by the two re­main­ing su­per­vi­sors, An­thony Kuk­lin­ski and Alan Keiser.

It closes the chap­ter on a trial that took more than two years to re­solve from the day Ziegler, 63, was charged in 2014 un­til last week when he pleaded guilty to a sec­ond-de­gree mis­de­meanor charge of unsworn fal­si­fi­ca­tion re­lated to a sub­poena he handed to Boy­er­town Po­lice Chief Barry Leather­man that matched no le­gal case in court.

Ziegler’s res­ig­na­tion, and the agree­ment that he never seek public of­fice again, was part of the plea agree­ment that ended the case in which Ziegler was be­ing tried on charges of charges of theft by un­law­ful tak­ing, re­ceiv­ing stolen prop­erty, forgery, tam­per­ing with public records, unsworn fal­si­fi­ca­tion to au­thor­i­ties, in­tim­i­da­tion and re­tal­i­a­tion against wit­nesses and con­flict of in­ter­est in con­nec­tion with al­leged in­ci­dents that oc­curred be­tween Au­gust 2012 and De­cem­ber 2014.

With the plea, all al­le­ga­tions of theft or fraud were dis­missed, leav­ing only the charge that he know­ingly handed over a false sub­poena to ob­tain in­for­ma­tion about the theft charges against him.

Ziegler re­tired in 2004 af­ter 30 years with the town­ship’s po­lice depart­ment, the last 12 years as its chief, be­fore be­com­ing a town­ship su­per­vi­sor.

Be­cause Ziegler had also spent time work­ing for the Mont­gomery County Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s of­fice, when the al­le­ga­tions of theft of a chain saw, ply­wood and us­ing the town­ship’s gas card were levied, the case had to be in­vesti-

gated and tried by the state at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice.

The trial dates were re­peat­edly de­layed by pro­ce­dure and ill­ness by both Ziegler and his at­tor­ney and even in the midst of the trial ear­lier this month, when Judge Gary S. Silow, who was con­duct­ing the bench trial, no­ticed that Ziegler seemed to have taken ill.

Ac­cord­ing to Town­ship Man­ager Peter Hiryak, the su­per­vi­sors opted not to im­me­di­ately name a re­place­ment to fill out Ziegler’s term.

State law gives than 30 days and the su­per­vi­sors have asked all who are in­ter­ested in fill­ing the post to send re­sumes to the town­ship.

In­ter­views will be con­ducted early next year.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF THE PA STATE AT­TOR­NEY GEN­ERAL’S OF­FICE

Fred Ziegler

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