Lehigh Valley

Robert Kearns and P.J. McLaine guilty of bilking Bethlehem Twp over street lights

EASTON, Pa. - Robert Kearns and P.J. McLaine are heading to jail, after a Northampton County jury found them both guilty Friday of bilking Bethlehem Township out of close to a million dollars.

The two were accused of taking $800,000 from the township, with a promise to save it money on streetlights.

Township officials, however, said the men did almost no work and kept all the money.

The jury found the men guilty of felony theft charges, the most serious of the charges against them. The two were found not guilty of two lesser charges.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said, "This was a very good result.  It vindicated our prosecution."

Sentencing is scheduled for March 15 and the men could face up to seven years in prison.

Kearns and McLaine are facing similar charges in Schuylkill and Carbon counties.

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