Allegheny County deputy sheriff accused of theft, more
Detectives arrested an Allegheny County sheriff’s deputy Thursday morning on charges he failed to turn over more than $10,000 he’d collected from a defendant in a civil case.
Donald Modrick, 49, is charged with theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, misapplication of funds and property, obstruction of justice, official oppression and making false statements. He was fired from his position following his arrest.
Modrick, as part of his job, collected money from defendants who’d been issued civil judgments, Chief Deputy Kevin Kraus said. In such instances, defendants make payments which go into a sheriff’s office account. Ten days later, that payment is issued to the plaintiff in the civil case.
Modrick could not immediately be reached for comment.
In this case, Kraus said, Modrick was collecting the payments from a defendant and not reporting them, instead keeping them for himself.
“The defendant because suspicious when (Modrick) stopped giving her receipts,” Kraus said. “At that point, she asked if she could pay him in the form of business checks. He said yes, but he instructed her to make the checks out to him, which is in complete violation of any policy of the sheriff’s office.”
The woman found out that her payments were not being applied when the attorney for the plaintiff in her case reached out to her own attorney, Kraus said.
The total amount reported stolen is just shy of $10,300, he said, but that’s counting only the checks that Modrick deposited into his personal account. Any cash he collected remains unaccounted for, and Kraus said the investigation remains open.
Kraus called Modrick a good employee. He was a 16-year veteran of the department.
“He was well-liked in the sheriff’s office,” he said. “Certainly no one knew that he was involved in this type of activity.”
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff reporter. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .