Kennett after Lisa Moore

Two years ago, the Kennett Township supervisors held a public meeting after the former township manager was charged with stealing more than $3.2 million from the municipality.

On Dec. 7, the supervisors will again hold a public meeting about Lisa Moore, this time updating what has happened since.

Former Kennett Township Manager Lisa Mo0re.

Moore pleaded guilty Oct. 4 to theft by deception, dealing in unlawful proceeds, forgery, tampering with public records, and access device fraud and was sentenced to 3-10 years in a state correctional institution and five years of probation. Other terms of the plea agreement include full restitution of the $3,249,453 to the township, a $2,500 fine, and $1,842 in state police lab fees. She must also forfeit her pension from the township and can never work for a non-profit or government where she is responsible for money, according to the plea agreement.

“The public meeting on Dec. 7 is designed to shed light on the steps taken by the supervisors to keep the township functioning during this troubling period of township history,” Supervisors’ Chairman Richard Leff said in a press release issued Tuesday.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. Those interested in attending can go in person to the township building or join remotely via Zoom.

“Since the discovery of Moore’s theft, the administration of the township has been difficult and challenging,” Leff said.

That topic came up most recently during the supervisors’ Nov. 17 meeting, when incoming Supervisor Geoff Gamble asked about the growth of the township staff and whether it should be more in line with other municipalities.

Since 2019, Kennett Township has added, among other things, a finance director/human resources manager as well as a finance department, and the treasurer's position is no longer held by the township manager.

Supervisor Scudder Stevens said at that meeting that the current makeup of the township staff reflects the changes made since the discovery of the stolen funds.

“We went through a complete restructuring, and probably should have gone through this 10 years ago,” Stevens said. “But there was no support in the community and no known reason for doing it 10 years ago. There was a reason to do it two-and-a-half years ago … and it was done with a view toward what our financial needs were at that time and in the future.”

Current township Manager Eden Ratliff said the “catastrophic event” of Moore’s embezzlement “was really hard to market and deal with in 2019.

“There was a catastrophic failure in the process, and we immediately started thinking what do we need,” Ratliff said at the Nov. 17 meeting. “I think that pendulum swing has probably been difficult for the community.”

The supervisors had said in previous meetings that they would hold another public meeting about Moore once her 30-day appeal period had expired.

“Almost two years ago, the township board of supervisors held a public meeting to give information on the investigation and arrest of Moore,” Leff said in the press release. “At the upcoming public meeting, the supervisors will give the public an update on what has taken place since that first public meeting.”

About Monica Fragale

Monica Thompson Fragale is a freelance reporter who spent her life dreaming of being in the newspaper business. That dream came true after college when she started working at The Kennett Paper and, years later The Reporter newspaper in Lansdale and other dailies. She turned to non-profit work after her first daughter was born and spent the next 13 years in that field. But while you can take the girl out of journalism, you can’t take journalism out of the girl. Offers to freelance sparked the writing bug again started her fingers happily tapping away on the keyboard. Monica lives with her husband and two children in Kennett Square.



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