Clarion meter officer accused of taking money

Staff writer

A Clarion Borough employee is facing multiple charges for allegedly stealing $1,450 from parking meters.

Janice Gabler, 51, of Brookville is accused of taking the money while she worked as a Clarion Borough meter enforcement officer, according to a criminal complaint filed by acting Clarion Borough police chief William Peck.

Gabler cashed large amounts of change at Walmart within recent weeks, with six transactions spanning from Dec. 27, 2016, to Jan. 23, the complaint said.

Peck reviewed the transaction records of the coins cashed and discovered low numbers of pennies, which would be consistent with Clarion Borough parking meters, the complaint said.

Peck determined it was possible the money was taken during the collection process because it is removed from the meters by enforcement officers and placed in bags to be taken to a local bank, the complaint said.

Peck collected money from the meters on Jan. 29 and counted it, according to the complaint.

The following day, Gabler and another meter enforcement officer collected money from meters and took the money to a local bank, the complaint said. Peck went to the bank and asked to count the money and determined it was $245.93 short of what it should have been, according to the complaint.

Gabler returned to the police department around 4:45 p.m. at the end of her shift, and Peck asked to speak with her in his office, the complaint said.

Peck explained the situation to Gabler and asked if she had meter money bags in her car, the complaint said. Gabler denied having any money in her car, according to the complaint.

Gabler was asked by Peck when was the last time she had cashed coins, and she answered at the end of December, the complaint said.

Peck continued to confront Gabler about the missing money, and she continued to deny involvement, according to the complaint.

Gabler gave Peck consent to search her car, which resulted in the discovery of three bags of change containing more than $245, the complaint said.

Charges filed against Gabler include misdemeanor counts of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.

She was arraigned Monday before district judge Duane Quinn and placed in the Clarion County jail on $4,000 bail. She was released Tuesday after posting $400 bail.

A preliminary hearing in the case has been tentatively scheduled for Feb. 14.