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Former JRA director appears in court, pleads not guilty
By: Marc Stempka
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- The former executive director of the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority appeared before a judge in federal court Wednesday on federal bribery and extortion charges.
Ron Repak, 62, appeared court in Johnstown with his wife and attorney. He was indicted Jan. 14 on six counts for allegedly misusing money at the JRA.
6 News reporter Maria Miller was at the short hearing. She reported Repak pleaded not guilty to the charges and asked for a jury trial. He was released on $10,000 unsecured bond and had turnover his passport.
Following the hearing, Repak's attorney said there is a lot of material to look at before forming a case, Miller reported.
Federal investigators said Repak used JRA money to make improvements to his Richland Township home, perform demolition and remodeling work at his son's privately-owned gym and purchase multiple Pittsburgh Steelers football tickets.
Investigators said Repak could face up to 90 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.
The JRA board fired Repak in February 2013 after it was discovered he billed Conemaugh Health Systems more than $130,000 for work that was being done at the Johnstown Tech Park in Johnstown's Kernville section.
The board said Repak created a fake company, Diversified Development Technologies, and billed the hospital under that name from 2004 to 2007.
That constituted an ethical violation based on a JRA resolution passed in 2000 where those involved in the JRA were prohibited from dealing with outside work and if they were doing so, needed to report it to the board.
Officials said Repak was essentially double-dipping while charging Conemaugh for the tech park work.