Defendant In Corruption Case Gets ARD

The final defendant in the Bucks County Register of Wills political corruption case has been accepted into a pre-trial program for non-violent first-time offenders. The program is called Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, or ARD for short.  76-year-old James McCullen of Bristol will have his record wiped clean if he completes 500 hours of community service and two years on probation and stays out of further trouble.  Long-time Register of Wills Barbara Reilly, also 76 years old and a Bensalem resident, has admitted illegally paying employees “under the table” with comp time in return for their work at the polls on Election Day.  In effect they were using taxpayer dollars to do political work.  She also admitted tampering with records by having her staff shred hundreds of pages of documents including payroll records.  She entered a guilty plea earlier this month.  Her former second deputy, 66-year-old Rebecca Kiefer, pleaded guilty to similar charges.  Prosecutors say McCullen, the man who got ARD, did not actively participate in the scheme, but he did nothing to stop it.

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