A former Bristol Township rescue squad chief is accused of misappropriating nearly $5,000 in squad funds to pay for car repairs, and then doctoring computer records to make it look like the money went to repair an ambulance.
Bucks County authorities allege an investigation found Scott Bahner, 49, of Bensalem, used a credit card associated with Bucks County Rescue Squad to cover $4,789.39 in repair bills for his son in 2015, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Bahner was arraigned Wednesday on felony charges including dealing in unlawful proceeds, access device crimes and unlawful use of computers. He was released on $50,000 unsecured bail. This news organization was unsuccessful in reaching Bahner for comment after leaving a message at his home.
For nine years Bahner served as chief of the rescue squad, which serves Bristol Borough and Bristol Township, before he resigned last July, according to authorities, months after controversy surfaced surrounding his former part-time job with the Bristol Township Police Department.
Months later, in October, Bucks County Detectives received information alleging Bahner misappropriated squad money, which is primarily funded through local tax dollars and health insurance payments.
The subsequent investigation found that in April and November of 2015, Bahner, who earned $79,000 a year as squad chief, allegedly used a credit card associated with squad financial accounts to pay for transmission repairs on a 2010 Mazda owned by his son and tried to hide the transaction by reporting the repairs as involving an ambulance, according to the affidavit.
The garage owners confirmed to authorities that they did not repair an ambulance and one claimed that Bahner called in the credit card number to pay for the repairs, authorities said.
As chief, Bahner had access to various squad-related financial accounts and associated access device cards, as well as the login and password information for the squad's computers and software, according to county detectives. Rescue squad members are not authorized to use squad funds for personal use, court documents said.
The credit card accusation follow separate allegations against Bahner involving unauthorized pay a year ago that had Bristol Township officials threatening to replace the squad's coverage area with neighboring Levittown-Fairless Hills Rescue Squad. The Township Council never acted on the threat.
Township officials alleged that Bahner received nearly $30,000 in unauthorized hourly pay while working part time as a community service officer; Bahner resigned from his part-time job in November 2017 and he repaid the money shortly after the township threatened legal action against him. No criminal charges were filed.
Bahner, who was hired in October 2014, was paid $15.01 an hour and worked 20 to 24 hours a week for the police department, according to records obtained by this news organization.