The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

March 27, 2014

School suspends worker charged with theft

By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer

SHARON — A Sharon School District employee has been suspended with pay and charged by police with theft and access device fraud for using his school-issued credit card to make purchases for personal use.

Lowry T. Speicher Jr., 28, of New Castle, is believed to have bought packing materials to ship school-owned computer hardware he sold on eBay, police said, but he has not been charged with theft of the hardware.

Speicher, an information technology specialist, was arrested Wednesday at the superintendent’s office and taken for arraignment before District Judge Dennis M. Songer, Sharon, who set a preliminary hearing for 11 a.m. April 14.

Speicher was freed after posting bond.

School officials had been monitoring Speicher for about a month, and laid out their case for police Tuesday, police said.

School officials provided receipts of purchases made Jan. 29 and Feb. 17 at a Hermitage store and Feb. 25 at a New Castle store showing Speicher had bought mailing boxes, bubble wrap, shipping tape and shipping boxes, costing a total of $180, with his school-issued credit card, police said.

Speicher packed and shipped items at Sharon High School, police said.

Interim Superintendent Michael Calla said a hearing has been set for next week with school administrators concerning Speicher’s status. School board members will not attend the hearing, he said.

Speicher was hired in the fall of 2008 and worked at all district buildings on computer system issues.

“We’re continuing to work with the Sharon police and cooperating in their investigation,” Calla said. “All of our network facilities are secure. We’ve been working with the (Midwestern) Intermediate Unit (IV, Grove City) and their network people to make sure they’re secure.”