DuBois city manager arrested, accused of stealing $600,000 in public money
John "Herm" Suplizio, the city manager and former mayor of DuBois, has been arrested on charges of theft and fraud, accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from public accounts, according to the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.
Suplizio is accused of using money from the city’s bank accounts and the DuBois United Way account to pay his personal bills, make political donations and gamble. The state Attorney General’s office alleges the transactions added up to $620,815 over time. Suplizio was also the DuBois Area United Way’s executive director.
Most of the money reportedly came from accounts for Community Days, an annual summer event the DuBois Volunteer Fire Department puts on.
The state’s investigation also found that Suplizio allegedly used his position to benefit personally from contracts with businesses. He is accused of providing false information on his tax returns from 2014-2021, paying for a number of charges with public money and claiming those charges as unreimbursed expenses on his taxes.
Suplizio, who is 62, was charged with five felony counts of theft and one felony count of conflict of interest, along with one misdemeanor count of misapplication of entrusted property and eight misdemeanor counts of fraudulent return.
Toni Cherry, the attorney for the DuBois city council, said in a statement that council is reserving comment on the allegations, but will continue to be vigilant in the oversight of city funds.
"On behalf of all of city council, I share our disappointment upon learning today about the allegations against our long-time City Manager, Herm Suplizio. For over two decades, Herm has served DuBois with a passion and determination that has grown its reputation and profile well beyond that of similar cities. Out of respect for Herm, as well as the judicial process, we will reserve comment on these allegations until a more appropriate time," the statement said. "However, council will remain vigilant in our oversight of city funds and its employees. We will continue to monitor the matter and further our own review of the facts moving forward. We are committed to ensuring integrity is maintained within DuBois city government, which, we believe epitomizes Herm’s tenure as city manager. We appreciate all the kind words in support of Herm and the city that we have received from members of the community, and we thank you all for your patience with this deliberative process."
Before becoming city manager, Suplizio was the mayor of DuBois, which is in Clearfield County. In 2020, he ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nominationfor the state Senate.