Tax collector can avoid jail time
August 06, 2013 10:30 AM

UNIONTOWN (AP) — A former southwestern Pennsylvania tax collector can avoid jail if she repays most or all of more than $50,000 in tax receipts she stole and used to pay her own bills.

Joanne Kushnar, 53, of Fayette City, pleaded guilty Friday and faces five years on probation if she repays the money by the time she’s sentenced in October.

If not, a Fayette County judge has warned Kushnar he’ll sentence her to six to 23 months in jail.

Kushnar was the tax collector in Fayette City until an audit showed nearly $34,000 she collected in city real estate taxes was missing from 2008 to 2012. A related audit found $18,600 in Belle Vernon Area School District taxes were also missing.

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