SUNBURY, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY- Hundreds of thousands of dollars are missing from the Northumberland Sewer Authority. On Monday the authority secretary admits she stole it. Cynthia Lark pleaded guilty to stealing more than $470,000. She could now face up to 22 years in prison.
Lark cried during her entire guilty plea hearing inside the Northumberland county courthouse. Lark pleaded guilty to stealing the money over the course of 5 years. Authorities say she likely stole for a decade. Lark wrote checks to herself from the authority account. This was exposed through an audit.
While lark didn't answer our questions, a man who told us he was lark's ex-husband did. The man, who said his name is Mike said, "We're glad with what happened."
No reason for the theft was given during the hearing. Lark was also a Northumberland borough councilwoman. She resigned in March, shortly before she turned herself in on the theft charges. Her defense attorney says she plans to pay back all the stolen money.
Lark's defense attorney Joseph Nahas said, "She certainly has a very good understanding of what she did and what she did wrong. she's deeply, deeply sorry and saddened for her actions."
According to a sewer authority employee, sewer rates increased in 2008. When the I-team asked what the sewer authorities yearly operating budget was we were told that information wasn't available.
Lark is the second Northumberland borough council member charged with theft. Police say former council president Bryan Wolfe spent 18 thousand dollars of borough money for computer software for his own use. His next court appearance will be his preliminary hearing.