Aliquippa school board member indicted by AG’s office after insurance fraud investigation

BEAVER COUNTY — An Aliquippa school board member is facing insurance fraud charges.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office charged Catherine Colalella and her son in March following an investigation into a November 2020 car crash. According to court documents, Colalella’s son, Thomas Shaw, was driving her car, lost control and hit a telephone pole. Investigators said at the time of the crash, they didn’t have insurance because it lapsed.

Shaw and Colalella then decided they were going to tell Progressive Insurance that the crash happened at 8 p.m. instead of 8 a.m. so that the damages would be covered, documents said. They then went online and bought a policy from Progressive.

“I’m not discussing this. I just said I’m not commenting,” Colalella said.

Channel 11 asked her Wednesday night at the school board meeting about the charges and the investigation. It was also brought up during the public comment period. There’s a petition being passed around that seeks to have her resign.

“The integrity of this board on the matter of whatever happens in the district should be fair across the board. It was your duty to do the right thing. She needs to be held accountable,” one speaker said at the meeting.

“Whenever we find a resolution to that, I am happy to have that dialogue with you all,” said board president Lotta Stewart.