Two Former Luzerne County Pennsylvania Transit Officials Suspended by the FTA
On December 22, 2015, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) suspended both Stanley Strelish, the former Executive Director, Luzerne County Transportation Authority (LCTA) and Robb Alan Henderson, LCTA's former Operations Manager. The suspensions related to their falsely over-reporting the number of free rides provided to senior citizens by approximately 3 million rides. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) used the inflated ridership data to determine LCTA's annual grant amount pursuant to state law.
In June 2014, the Pennsylvania State Attorney General's Office filed criminal complaints in Royalton, Pennsylvania, charging Strelish and Henderson with falsely inflating senior citizen bus ridership data in order for LCTA to receive more grant money than entitled from PennDOT. In addition, the United States Attorney's Office requested that the OIG review FTA data to determine if federal dollars were affected by the scheme. The FTA provided grant funds to the LCTA to develop and maintain public transportation systems. After an extensive review of LCTA, FTA, and National Transit Database (NTD) documents, the investigation revealed that only state funds were affected by the scheme to falsely inflate senior citizen ridership.
On October 8, 2015, Strelish pled guilty to five felony counts of Tampering with Public Records and was sentenced to five years of probation, a $5,000 fine and 100 hours of community service. The Henderson state criminal case is pending. PennDOT has reclaimed a total of $3,158,825 from the LCTA.
Note: Exclusion actions (suspensions and debarments) are frequently for a specific period of time and the System for Award Management "Sam.gov" should be consulted to find whether a company is currently excluded.