• Monongahela mayor refutes theft by deception charges


    The mayor of Monongahela was arrested on Tuesday on a charge of theft by deception after a Washington County couple accused him of not repaying a loan of nearly $4,000.

    Robert Kepics, who has been mayor since 2008, was taken to the Washington County Jail, then released after a bondsman posted bail.

    “Here I am. I have nothing to hide,” Kepics said Wednesday to Channel 11’s Vince Sims. “It’s not going to affect my position. I’m still the mayor of this city. You are innocent until proven guilty, right?”

    Kepics was charged after a New Eagle couple, John and Shirley Amon, filed a complaint with District Judge Mark Wilson in Monongahela that states that Kepics borrowed $3,935 from them on April 25, 2011.

    They said he repaid $1,400 seven months later, promising to get the rest soon. They said he proved to be difficult to reach and when they did, he promised to repay everything or work out a payment plan.

    The Amons said that Kepics agreed in July to try to repay $100 a month but has only made two payments, the last one in September.

    Kepics told Sims that he’s fallen on hard times because of being on disability and unable to work.

    "I have a lot of constituents that are backing me and knowing this was wrong. I feel it will be taken care of,” Kepics said.

    Officials at City Hall have not commented on the charges.

    Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE   contributed to this report.

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