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Ex-CCAC worker facing theft trial

An ex-Community College of Allegheny County Boyce Campus employee who started a campus theater program will face trial on forgery and theft charges.

In a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Monroeville District Justice Walter W. Luniewski ordered Gary Van Horn, 23, of Jeremy Drive, Monroeville, to stand trial in the Court of Common Pleas. Van Horn pleaded not guilty to two counts each of forgery and identity theft and one count each of theft by deception and theft by unlawful taking or disposition of movable property.

Van Horn, who was formerly the producer at Boyce Theatre Company at CCAC and campus director of special projects, refused to comment on the charges.

He is accused of stealing more than $30,000 in college property and of forging the signature of the campus business manager for the lease of a new Chevrolet Trailblazer.

CCAC employees testified that they rode in the Trailblazer, emblazoned with CCAC decals, assuming it was Van Horn’s personal vehicle.

“I got the impression that he had personally purchased it,” said James Cairn, former campus business manager whose signature was one of those Van Horn allegedly forged

Daniel Carr, CCAC director of internal auditing, testified he discovered during a routine audit that the vehicle was insured through the college. Further investigation turned up forged documentation for the lease through Dollar Bank Leasing Corp., Carr said.

As a matter of policy, the college buys rather than leases vehicles, and it is “outside the authority of anyone on Boyce campus,” to make such a purchase, Carr said.

“This was very unusual,” he said. “Unique, it was unique.”

Carr dismissed the notion that Van Horn arranged for the donation of the vehicle, saying donations had to be submitted to the board of trustees. No such donation ever was submitted, he said.

Scott Lang, Van Horn’s attorney, requested charges be dismissed; the motion was denied.

Police said Van Horn used two cash allotments earmarked for the theater for the initial, $1,929 lease payment on the vehicle. Subsequent searches of the Trailblazer turned up approximately $2,000 in college property, including a cellular telephone, controlled access keys to campus buildings, computer equipment, a digital camera and microphone sets, police said.

“There were lots of items, more than they thought,” testified county police Detective William Wasko Jr., who participated in searches of the vehicle and Van Horn’s apartment.

Wasko said college-owned computers were set up in Van Horn’s apartment.

Carr and Wasko said an investigation is ongoing.

Van Horn was fired May 10 after refusing to cooperate with an internal investigation.


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