Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Glenmoore, Pennsylvania
    (Chester County)
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    Default Chesco Sheriff Bunny Welsh won't seek sixth term

    Sheriff Welsh was a second ammendment supporter and her departure will likely mean another important office has fallen to the democrats in Chester County.


    https://www.dailylocal.com/news/ches...74590b5c1.html

    WEST CHESTER — Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh, Chester County’s first female elected sheriff and among the county’s longest serving public official, has announced that she will not seek re-election to a sixth term in 2019.

    Republican Welsh announced her retirement in a press release at a time when the county’s election demographics are changing against her......

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Douglassville, Pennsylvania
    (Berks County)
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    Default Re: Chesco Sheriff Bunny Welsh won't seek sixth term

    I don't know if she's guilty or not but they really ran her through the ringer this last year over her department's spending practices.
    Thank you for keeping me safe.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Glenmoore, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Chesco Sheriff Bunny Welsh won't seek sixth term

    Quote Originally Posted by Walleye Hunter View Post
    I don't know if she's guilty or not but they really ran her through the ringer this last year over her department's spending practices.
    I think you may be referring to the K–9 program? The democrats took over a bunch of county offices and went to town.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Glenmoore, Pennsylvania
    (Chester County)
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    Default Re: Chesco Sheriff Bunny Welsh won't seek sixth term

    Thankfully Bunny will still be Sheriff when I renew my LTCF in May.

    5c018c9415619.image.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    "The Country", Pennsylvania
    (Chester County)
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    Default Re: Chesco Sheriff Bunny Welsh won't seek sixth term

    Chester County is turning blue like a fat guy choking on a hotdog. The next sheriff will be a democrat. This past election cycle, the democrats easily won most of their seats in Chester County.
    "The Constitution is the guide which I will not abandon.” - George Washington

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
    (Chester County)
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    Default Re: Chesco Sheriff Bunny Welsh won't seek sixth term

    Bunny not running again is a huge loss for the 2nd amendment crowd, as well as a big loss in general to the conservative side. This is just a damn shame! She will be missed!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Ercildoun, Pennsylvania
    (Chester County)
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    Default Re: Chesco Sheriff Bunny Welsh won't seek sixth term

    Chester County has turned into a blue state hell hole. Massive numbers of democrats moved here to escape Philadelphia and are now in the process of turning Chester County into the same crap hole they made in Philadelphia. It doesn't help that the people running the Chester County Republican party are complete BAKA!
    Close your farcebook and twitter accounts and stop feeding the enemy!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Chester County, Pennsylvania
    (Chester County)
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    Default Re: Chesco Sheriff Bunny Welsh won't seek sixth term

    Quote Originally Posted by philadelphia patriot View Post
    Chester County is turning blue like a fat guy choking on a hotdog. The next sheriff will be a democrat. This past election cycle, the democrats easily won most of their seats in Chester County.
    Yep, we got killed last election. In my area the Republicans were mostly replaced by first time female Democrats. ALL anti gun. They ALL had the same talking points, and were very much into virtue signaling to women. As more, and more development happens in Chester County, we will continue to get Democrat transplants from urban areas both within the state, and from outside. We are surrounded by this nonsense.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Chesco Sheriff Bunny Welsh won't seek sixth term

    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferG View Post
    Chester County has turned into a blue state hell hole. Massive numbers of democrats moved here to escape Philadelphia and are now in the process of turning Chester County into the same crap hole they made in Philadelphia. It doesn't help that the people running the Chester County Republican party are complete BAKA!
    Quote Originally Posted by Pilot321 View Post
    Yep, we got killed last election. In my area the Republicans were mostly replaced by first time female Democrats. ALL anti gun. They ALL had the same talking points, and were very much into virtue signaling to women. As more, and more development happens in Chester County, we will continue to get Democrat transplants from urban areas both within the state, and from outside. We are surrounded by this nonsense.
    Exactly! If people love voting democrat so much I wish they would stay in Philly or move to NJ.
    "The Constitution is the guide which I will not abandon.” - George Washington

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Chester Springs, Pennsylvania
    (Chester County)
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    Default Re: Chesco Sheriff Bunny Welsh won't seek sixth term

    Bring this one back up...so no more sheriff and now has charges against her for how she and boyfriend ran the K9 unit.
    As soon as the Controller was elected, they went after Bunny with vengence.

    She was charged, innocent until proven otherwise. But you bet the incoming Dems were sniffing around pretty hard. Waiting for more of that for Trump if he does not get re-elected.

    https://www.inquirer.com/news/caroly...-20201124.html

    WEST CHESTER — Former Chester County Sheriff Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh and her live-in boyfriend, a former deputy sheriff, were charged Tuesday with criminal counts involving fundraising efforts to support the Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit.

    Welsh and former Lt. Harry McKinney appeared before Senior Magisterial District Judge Daniel Maisano of West Chester, accompanied by their attorneys and were arraigned on two misdemeanor counts of theft. A preliminary hearing has been set for next month.

    The charges grew out of an investigation into the fundraising activities of the Friends of the Chester County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, which was operated out of the office that Welsh headed for 20 years, by the county Controller’s Office. The charges are being handled by the state Attorney General’s Office.

    - Advertisement -
    Welsh, 76, and McKinney, 64, both of Pennsbury, were released on their own recognizance after the formal proceedings at which they were notified of the charges against them.

    “Bunny Welsh used her position of power for her and her partner Harry McKinney’s own personal gain instead of serving her community as she was elected to do,” state Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a statement after Welsh and McKinney turned themselves in to the state authorities for fingerprinting and processing.

    The pair “allegedly used public employees to perform work for private charity events both on and off-duty at the expense of Chester County, and McKinney then used those fundraised dollars to cover his own personal expenses,” said Shapiro. “This blatant misappropriation of funds is unacceptable. My office has made over 60 public corruption arrests since I took office and I will continue to hold any public officials accountable for abusing their office and public trust.”

    Special Agent Sean McGlinn said in a criminal complaint that Welsh placed McKinney in a supervisory role in the Sheriff’s Office, even though he carried an entry-level work classification. From that position, according to the complaint, McKinney utilized the resources of the office to conduct all the fundraising for the office, but primarily the private fundraising for the K-9 Unit that the two had initiated in the mid-2000s.

    Even though expenses for the K-9 Officers were paid for by grants, community donations, and private contributions, McKinney was put in sole charge of raising and dispersing those funds, absent any other county or official oversight, according to the arrest affidavit.

    The largest of the fundraising efforts, according to McGlinn’s complaint, was an annual Wild Game Dinner, at which those buying tickets could feast on treats like alligator bites, deer braciole, stuffed quail, crawfish casserole and an assortment of wild game sausages. Money raised from the event would go to the K-9 Friends organization.

    The complaint states that because the dinner required a great deal of volunteer work, deputies would volunteer to prepare for the event during their normal workday. McKinney would oversee the deputies running the events, while Welsh would allow them to perform those duties while being paid by the county, even though the events were private.

    It also alleges that the pair used public resources to compensate the deputies for time they spent on the events outside their workday.

    “For any time spent volunteering after work hours,” McGlinn wrote, Welsh awarded the deputies with 1/5 hours of compensatory time per hour that could be accrued and used at a later date … while still being paid by Chester County.

    The charges levied against the two include theft of services by diversion and theft by unlawful taking. The first charge concerns knowingly diverting services to the benefit of others they are not entitled to — allowing on-duty sheriffs to perform non-governmental work during regular work hours while they were being paid by the county. The second involves rewarding those deputies with days off for their work at private charity events outside normal business hours.

    McKinney was also found to have reimbursed himself from the K-9 unit fund for expenses that involved a family pet who was not a working canine, the complaint states. For that, he was charged with a second count of theft by unlawful taking.

    The complaint does not specify the amount of the theft, but because the counts are charged as misdemeanors, the value would be less than $2,000.

    Welsh is represented by veteran white-collar criminal defense attorney Geoffrey Johnson of Philadelphia. In a brief telephone exchange Tuesday, Johnson said that his client had been charged only with “providing comp time to deputy sheriffs for working at a charity event,” but declined to comment further.

    McKinney’s attorney, criminal defense attorney Rob Donatoni of West Chester, said only that the charges against his client, “speak for themselves.”

    Welsh, who retired from the office in 2020 after having served five terms, is among the most recognizable of county elected officials in recent memory. She was photographed with President Donald J. Trump at the White House on multiple occasions, wearing her navy blue ceremonial sheriff’s uniform, and was among his earliest supporters. Her exploits were carried on the pages of newspapers across the region, with the simple moniker of “Sheriff Bunny” letting people know who the star of the story would be.


    The K-9 Unit was among her biggest public relations efforts, becoming a well-publicized and highly popular part of the office, with public events and promotional appearances by K-9 officers with names like Luke and Nero and Dexter and Murphy at local schools and organizations. The officers had particular skills such as bomb or drug detection, tracking criminal suspects, or hunting down lost children, and were frequently loaned to outside law enforcement agencies. The dogs were also on display almost daily in the county Justice Center, with 10 K-9 teams deployed throughout the building at various times and places.

    In November 2018, however, she announced that she would not seek re-election and that she planned to pursue other opportunities, although she did not specify what those opportunities entail.

    “Sometimes God leads you down a path and opens doors where you least expect it,” Welsh said. “After serving as sheriff for 20 years, I will be looking forward to a new challenge in 2020.” This summer, she served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention, which ended with the re-nomination of President Trump.

    McKinney was terminated from his position by incoming county Sheriff Fredda Maddox in January.

    Welsh campaigned locally for the president and appeared at her local polling place at the Chadds Ford Elementary School on Election Day, where she was photographed smiling and not wearing a facial mask, despite the county being in the grips of a resurgence of the coronavirus. Days afterward, reports were confirmed that she had entered Chester County Hospital for treatment of COVID-19. She was released last week.

    The challenge that Welsh faced most in 2018, however, was a unique one. In August, newly elected county Controller Margaret Reif, a Democrat, issued a subpoena for financial records held by Welsh’s office for the Sheriff’s K-9. Unit. It was the first time in memory that one county official had publicly and openly questioned the way another ran his or her office.

    Reif and her team of auditors suspected, and later said they confirmed, that funds that had been collected for the K-9 officers and their handlers had been misused by people in the office, most notably McKinney, Welsh’s longtime live-in life partner.

    After some disagreement, some of the records that Reif’s office requested were turned over. Though incomplete, they formed a picture of improper use of the funds that the controller later detailed in a remarkable summary.

    The expenses questioned included $4,718 paid for a stay at the Hilton Baltimore in June and July 2015; at least $5,290.74 on 75 miscellaneous lunches and dinners over a three-year period; $4,200 for a custom-made golf cart; $2,500 for tires and front and back winches on a privately owned pickup truck; and $579 for a one-night stay at the Quality Hotel in Exton in September 2017.

    The audit estimated that more than $198,000 was raised and spent over the years 2015 to 2017 for the K-9 unit through private donations to the sheriff’s office that used county property and employees to accept and record them.

    Among other expenses, paid for with checks and credit cards, the controller said that it could not ascertain how those individual payments directly related to the services K-9 Unit was formed to provide to law enforcement agencies and others in and out of the county.

    The 23 instances of questionable actions by the K-9 Unit that a summary report of the controller’s audit cited — including failure to register as a charitable organization, file for tax-exempt status, and establish an overall “formal or informal structure” for receipts and disbursements — led the office to the rare step of bringing the matter to the attention of other elected officials in the county, according to a statement issued by the controller’s office.

    Welsh and her supporters fired back, saying the fundraising was not within the controller’s purview since they were private, not taxpayer, dollars.

    The case was referred to the state Attorney General’s Office by former county District Attorney Tom Hogan, who said his office had a conflict with the matter because of its past involvement with the Friends of the K-9 unit organization.

    On Tuesday, Reif declined to comment on the Attorney General's charges. The allegations in her audit are not part of her criminal charges, and neither Welsh nor McKinney face counts related to her specific findings.

    Welsh also faces a civil action filed by the controller’s office over allegedly inflated overtime payments made to McKinney with her approval for the care of the K-9s he owned when he worked for the Sheriff’s Office. The controller is seeking the return of $67,000 in payments made to McKinney over a three-year period.

    That action, which was also reportedly the subject of a state Grand Jury investigation, remains in Common Pleas Court.

    To contact staff writer Michael P. Rellahan call 610-696-1544.

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