Cops: Pa. man listed dog as dependent in food scam
PITTSBURGH (AP) – The former manager of a school district’s cafeteria service listed his dog as a dependent so he could get discounted school lunches for his children, state police said. The state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s organized crime division announced theft charges Thursday against Gabriel Paulick. Paulick worked for Nutrition Inc. when he managed the Ringgold School District cafeteria system, about 15 miles south of Pittsburgh, police said. He not only got reduced-price lunches worth more than $1,700 for his children, he also helped district employees fudge their applications to get more than $9,000 worth of free or reduced-price lunches, police said. Capt. Bret Waggoner, who heads the organized crime unit, said his troopers have investigated school lunch frauds before but never one in which someone tried to pass off a dog as a family member. “No, I’ve never encountered that,” Waggoner said. Ringgold Superintendent Gary J. Hamilton called the case “very upsetting, very disturbing.”About 40 percent of the district’s 3,100 students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, Hamilton said. Their parents fill out applications that take into account their income and family size in determining whether they qualify for the aid, he said.