New charges filed against suspended Ambridge police chief |

New charges filed against suspended Ambridge police chief

Megan Guza
James Mann

Police on Wednesday filed new charges against a suspended Beaver County police chief already charged with theft, fraud and threatening his own officers, court records show.

James Mann, 61, was suspended from his post as Ambridge police chief in April, and state police filed charges four months later alleging Mann had been faking his time sheets while he was off work with a back injury.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the new charges. A preliminary hearing on the new charges has not yet been scheduled.

The new charges filed Wednesday include three felonies: theft by deception, witness intimidation and threatening harm to influence the judicial process. He also faces three misdemeanors: obstruction of law, retaliation for past official action and official oppression.

The original investigation started in February 2018 when Ambridge Mayor David Drewnowski told police a man in disguise — believed to be an Ambridge police sergeant — left a letter at his door alleging Mann was filling out fraudulent time cards while on sick leave, according to the criminal complaint.

The letter alleged that Mann, who was off duty due to injury for most of 2017, had used all of his paid time off but kept getting his full wage by filing time sheets for sick time, compensatory time and vacation time, police wrote in the complaint.

He signed the alleged fraudulent cards himself, according to police.

At least 10 Ambridge officers told state police Mann had threatened them and harassed them, calling himself “a caged animal,” according to the complaint.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.