Allegheny County real estate clerk faces theft and bribery charges

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By Steve Pope | August 29, 2018

An information clerk with the Allegheny County Department of Real Estate who told police he was experiencing financial problems, has been charged with theft and bribery.

On Monday Allegheny County police filed a criminal complaint charging Derek Wade, 51, of, Pittsburgh, with two misdemeanors — theft by unlawful taking and commercial bribery, after he admitted to pocketing money from a customer for making copies of documents.

A county detective alleged in the complaint that on July 18, Wade was observed on video taking what turned out to be $60 from a man identified as Michael Turkovich, for providing copies of documents. As an information clerk, Wade was not supposed to handle any money.

The video shows Wade making copies of documents and providing them to Mr. Turkovich, yet county records do not show that Mr. Turkovich paid for any copies that day.

A county real estate employee told police that Wade said he was making copies “to do some side work,” the complaint said. The employee told Wade he wasn’t permitted to do that and “it could result in instant termination.”

In an Aug. 27 interview with a county police detective Wade admitted he was having financial problems. He said on July 18, he accepted $40 from Mr. Turkovich for copies of documents and an additional $20 for expedited service.

According to county records Wade has been a county employee since 2011, however, it is unclear what his current employment status is.

He has been charged via summons and a preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Oct. 3.

Steve Pope can be contacted at steve.pope@grantstreetnews.com

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