The former director of the Law Library of Montgomery County is facing theft and related charges after allegedly using over $4,000 in taxpayer dollars to purchase items for himself and his library staff, according to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.
Bruce Piscadlo, 62, of Howell, NJ, was charged with theft by unlawful taking, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, conspiracy and related charges after Montgomery County Controller Stewart J. Greenleaf Jr. released an audit on the law library indicating irregularities that he felt rose to the level of criminal activity, according to Ferman.
An investigation by the Montgomery County Detective Bureau confirmed that over the past three years, Piscadlo, who retired from his position in December, used tax-payer dollars to purchase 50 items, including computers, laptops, printers and other electronic equipment for himself of his staff, amounting to $4,830.94, according to Ferman.
In August, the Montgomery County Detectives found a HP Touchscreen All-in-One Computer, a HP Office Jet Printer and a Monster brand Digital Power Center at the Piscadlo's house, all of which were allegedly purchased from Staples using library funds.
The arrest comes just two months after law library bookkeeper Barbara Melnyk was charged with theft after allegedly purchasing personal items, including her daughter’s college textbooks and a dorm room refrigerator, with library funds, Ferman said.
Greenleaf said that a combination of “weak oversight and non-existent financial controls” enabled the misappropriation of roughly $30,000 to occur while the law library was a “component unit” of the county, which received county funding but was overseen by the independent Law Library Committee.
Between 2010 and 2012, the law library was allocated more than $2 million in taxpayer funds.
On January 1, the library became a department of the county, which subjected it to a county audit.
Piscadlo was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Margaret Hunsicker, who set bail at $20,000 unsecured.