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Sheriff 'Bunny' Gets Her Knuckles Rapped For Paying Boyfriend $67K In ‘Unmerited’ Overtime

One of Trump's biggest early boosters finds herself in hot water over alleged financial impropriety.
Sheriff 'Bunny' Gets Her Knuckles Rapped For Paying Boyfriend $67K In ‘Unmerited’ Overtime
Sheriff Carolyn "Bunny" Welsh holds up a picture from her meeting with President Donald Trump Image from: Laura Benshoff/WHYY

When Trump won in Pennsylvania, he had people like this county sheriff who were gung ho on his candidacy from day one. Skip ahead a couple of years, and Sheriff Carolyn "Bunny" Welsh is in some serious hot water over how she runs her department, allegedly according to this comptroller like a "veritable slush fund". 'Bunny' won't be running for a sixth term in 2020.

Source: Philadephia Inquirer

In an unprecedented move, the Chester County controller has taken legal action against the county sheriff, calling for a refund of more than $67,000 in overtime the controller contends the sheriff improperly paid to a lieutenant with whom she has a personal relationship.

County Controller Margaret Reif, in a legal filing Friday in Chester County Court, questioned overtime Sheriff Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh paid to Lt. Harry McKinney. Reif said the money paid to McKinney in the last three years was "unearned and unmerited overtime that was not based on the result of actual overtime work.”

McKinney and Welsh are longtime companions and have lived together for 15 years, according to Reif. The controller described the overtime payments — by far the highest within the sheriff’s department — as a way for Welsh to pad her household income and help “spike” McKinney’s retirement benefits.

Welsh denied that Monday and said the legal challenge was politically motivated. She described it as a continuation of an effort that began last year when Reif expressed concern about money raised by Welsh’s office for its K-9 unit, which McKinney heads.

“I think this is just continuing contention between the Controller’s Office and sheriff’s office, and it’s unfortunate,” Welsh said. “This has been misinterpreted, and I think the controller has misinterpreted the data in a negative attempt to smear me.”

Reif took Welsh to task in the fall over the K-9 unit’s bank account, boosted by donations that Reif said were used as a veritable slush fund. The resulting investigation was referred to the office of the state attorney general, who has said little on the matter. Its status remains unclear.


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