Sunday, July 13, 2014

Plea date set in DeSanto case

Former WVSA chief allegedly used staff to do Little League work

February 03. 2014 11:15PM

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WILKES-BARRE — A plea date has been set in the diversion of services case against a former Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority executive director, according to documents filed in Luzerne County Court.

Fred DeSanto, 64, is scheduled to appear before Judge Michael T. Vough at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 13. It was not immediately clear Monday afternoon what the plea might entail.

DeSanto allegedly used WVSA staff to do work for the District 16 Little League, for which he was a district director.

DeSanto’s attorney, Frank W. Nocito, confirmed the upcoming plea date in a voice mail left for a reporter. A call to Assistant District Attorney Jenny Roberts was not immediately returned on Monday.

DeSanto had been executive director of WVSA since 1998. He was placed on administrative leave, with pay, by the WVSA Board of Directors on Aug. 15, 2012.

DeSanto resigned Aug. 27, 2012, and had been scheduled to be interviewed by the WVSA board about the allegations. He held other positions in WVSA’s administration for 18 years.

DeSanto earned a salary of $116,084 when he retired, according to the authority’s finance department.

He was released on $20,000 unsecured bail after arrest in September. Late last year, DeSanto waived his right to a formal arraignment and demanded a jury trial, according to documents filed in December by Nocito.

According to an affidavit, Detective R. Gary Capitano of the District Attorney’s Office interviewed 57 WVSA employees. Based upon Capitano’s investigation, it was determined that 22 employees had performed Little League work under DeSanto’s direction, from 2004 through 2012, court documents say.

“This practice had been occurring for over 20 years but (Capitano) was limited to an eight-year statutory limit,” Capitano wrote.

The sanitary authority’s service area includes 35 municipalities in Luzerne County from Newport Township to the Pittston area.

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