CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — DuBois City Council held its first regular meeting since additional charges were filed against former City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio.
Tensions were high during the public comment section between resident Jennifer Jackson and City Solicitor Toni Cherry. Jackson is on the ballot for a seat on the city council for the upcoming election. While Jackson says she is seeking the truth she added that she’s also looking to make the necessary changes that the city needs.
“If I’m elected, the first day, you will be gone,” Jackson said to Cherry.
“I understand you’re going to fire me in January,” Cherry said. Jackson replied, “You should resign beforehand, you’re not working for the taxpayers.”
A criminal complaint was filed in Clearfield County on Oct. 4 alleging that between 2014 and 2022, Suplizio stole monies from public accounts, committed tax fraud and had fraudulent charges in relation to his private JP Morgan Chase Visa account and multiple public accounts he had access to in his role as city manager.
Suplizio, 62, of DuBois, was charged with 13 felonies and 10 misdemeanors. These include five counts of theft, four counts of proceeds of unlawful acts for avoiding transaction reporting requirements, one count of obstruction of administration law, and eight counts of fraud of sales tax return.
“I was astounded that there was that much, that detailed of information in the affidavit, and it was 49 pages long, just wow,” City Council Member Pat Reasinger said.”
According to the complaint, DuBois Solicitor Toni Cherry allegedly hid money from investigators. Cherry allegedly attended an executive session of the DuBois Council on May 13 where she told Council the money was brought to her by Suplizio and she kept it for six weeks since March to keep the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General from confiscating it.
Now Jackson and many other DuBois residents are looking for the truth from the council and the solicitor.
“This has been an ongoing issue that we’re not being told the truth,” Jackson said.
Jackson, Reasinger, and Elliot Gelfand are all on this year’s ballot for city council seats. Reasinger is looking to take the position for mayor, but all three are looking for change.
“I really want us to be transparent and work with the citizens, I want to hear their input,” Jackson said. “I don’t want this to be a one-man show like it’s been for years. We want to work for the citizens of this town and make it a good place to live.”
“We run for the citizens, not for us, we’re going to do it and it’s not an easy job. There’s a lot of gray. It’s not always black and white there’s a lot of gray,” Reasinger said. “You make a decision, not everybody’s going to be happy. We are going to sit down the five of us we’ll talk and we’ll make the best decision with the information we have at hand.”
Council entered an executive session following the meeting and Toni Cherry was not available to comment any further. The council also voted to have no work session meetings on Thursdays.
WTAJ will continue to keep you updated about this situation as we learn more.