Author Archives: ChescoD

Row Office Wars: Sheriff fails to meet subpoena for K-9 info, controller says

by Michael P. Rellahan, Daily Local News, 8/25/18

WEST CHESTER — The Chester County Sheriff’s Office has failed to fully comply with the request of the county’s controller for financial records concerning the sheriff’s K-9 Unit funding, according to a statement by the controller.

The Sheriff’s Office missed a deadline last week to turn over all records of the revenues, purchases and expenses for the K-9 Unit from January 2009 to the present, as was detailed in a subpoena that was delivered to the office earlier this month. The subpoena came after Sheriff Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh declined to submit the K-9 Unit to an audit by the Controller’s Office.

“We have only received partial records for three years,” Controller Margaret Reif said in response to questions from the Daily Local News about progress that was made toward fulfilling the terms of the subpoena and supplying the items requested. “They were asked to provide all records by 4 p.m. Friday and failed to comply with that request….

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Chesco controller issues subpoena for K-9 money records

[This is precisely why voters elected new people and Democrats to four County row offices in 2017: to safeguard residents’ and taxpayers’ interests by ensuring transparency of government actions. Seniority in County office or the performance of well-trained dogs is not the question.]

By Michael Rellahan, Daily Local News, Aug. 10, 2018

WEST CHESTER >> The Chester County Controller’s Office has taken the unusual step of issuing a subpoena to obtain financial records from the county Sheriff’s Office related to its K-9 unit so funds raised for the unit’s support can be audited.

A spokesman for the sheriff, in response to the subpoena, called the effort “political witch hunting” by a “Johnny come lately” against an elected official who has won national acclaim for her work in office. He promised that the sheriff would cooperate with the controller’s investigation, however.

Controller Margaret Reif confirmed on Friday that the subpoena had been sent to the Sheriff’s Office earlier this month, several weeks after it refused to voluntarily comply with an Audit Engagement letter asking to review records for the K-9 unit in June. Reif said her staff was told that because the K-9 Unit’s support effort was not under the direct control of Sheriff Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh, the office was under no obligation to provide the records for inspection by the controller.

But Reif pointed out that the Sheriff’s Office had – up until recently – been using the county’s website,, to promote and advertise ways for people to send private donations to help support the K-9 unit. That inclusion made the organization’s finances part of her purview….

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