A Pennsylvania sheriff is now being charged with stealing from the town that employed her
President Donald Trump’s friend, former Chester County, Pennsylvania Sheriff Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh is being accused of stealing from her own town.
Welsh, who has been invited to the White House several times during Trump’s presidency is being accused of theft and was recently charged in a plan that charged taxpayers for volunteer work to maintain a K-9 unit. Her live-in lover, Harry McKinney, was charged with using those funds for his own personal expenses, per Daily Local.
On Tuesday, prosecutors said the couple’s “conduct was criminal,” as reported by The Washington Post.
“Bunny Welsh used her position of power for her and her partner Harry McKinney’s own personal gain instead of serving her community as she was elected to do,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement sent to The Washington Post.
In 2016, Welsh attended the Republican National Convention and spoke in support of Trump at campaign rallies. After his win, she was invited to the White House for a roundtable discussion with other sheriffs and returned for a visit in 2019. At the time, the president called Welsh a “friend of mine for a long time, from the beginning.”
But Chester County might not be able to say the same about their former sheriff, who in 2000 became the first woman to hold the title. Though she retired in 2019 rumors of misconduct had already begun to swirl.
K-9 Unit officers were paid through government funds and donations managed by McKinney even though he did not have the credentials to do so. The couple would host fundraising events and pay deputies that would volunteer to work the events, sometimes during work hours with compensation from the county, though some of the events were private.
“Welsh and McKinney allegedly used public employees to perform work for private charity events both on and off-duty at the expense of Chester County, and McKinney then used those fundraised dollars to cover his own personal expenses,” said Shapiro.
Welsh called claims against her a political “smear,” and says funds were allocated correctly.
The civil case is still ongoing.
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