A longtime, trusted employee of Dauphin County is now accused of breaking that trust and stealing close to a half-million dollars from taxpayers. As county risk manager, Garry Esworthy, 58, of Lower Paxton Township, handled insurance coverage for Dauphin County for 11 years.
District Attorney Ed Marsico regularly worked with him.
“Mr. Esworthy was well-known to most county employees and well-liked,” Marsico said. “It’s very disturbing to see that these charges were brought against him.”
Investigators said Esworthy created a fake company and billed the county for insurance and consulting work that was never done. From July 2007 through May 2012, nearly a half-million dollars was paid to Esworthy’s fake company. Discrepancies came to light after he resigned in June and his replacement noticed some red flags.
“The victims here are the taxpayers of Dauphin County,” Marsico said. “A half-million dollars is gone that could have been spent on a variety of different efforts, a variety of different programs in a time of tough budgets for county officials.”
Dauphin County taxpayers we spoke to say they do feel like they’ve been swindled.
“When it comes to theft of the public, 50 cents is a lot of money. So regardless of whether it’s 50 cents or $500,000, I just think he really needs to repay,” said Sean Logan.
“A half a million dollars is a lot of money. So I think someone should have probably noticed the first year,” added Nykol Williams.
The DA’s office and the county commission are looking into why this wasn’t noticed sooner.
Esworthy is out on bail. Court documents show that Eshworthy told investigators he stole the money to pay for outstanding credit card and medical bills from health issues.