News: In the News

Valley Township employee embezzles $264,000, goes on shopping spree

Neil Morris Quoted in Daily Local News


A Valley Township employee has been arrested after the Chester County District Attorney’s office said she embezzled more than a quarter of a million dollars from the township, and used the money to go on a shopping spree.

Donna Groff, 70, of West Bradford, who handled cash payments by township residents for their water, sewer, and trash bills, was arrested Monday. She was fired by Valley officials after the theft was discovered. She worked for the township for 10 years.

A criminal complaint file against her alleges that Groff confessed to the thefts after being confronted with them during an interveiw in December

Township officials on Wednesday referred questions to Philadelphia attorney Neil A. Morris of the Offit Kurman law firm, who has assisted the township in employee matters for years.

“The township was of course shocked to find out that such a loyal and trusted long-term employee had been stealing from the township,” Morris, who has had past experience with township labor issues in Kennett, New Garden, and Valley, said in a telephone interview. He said that as soon as the thefts were uncovered, the township brought in a forensic accountant to review its finances and procedures. Those findings were shared with investigators, with whom the township continues to work. Since then, new procedures have been put in place along with the township’s normal safeguards, Morris said.

“She doctored papers to cover up the thefts, and we are looking into why that wasn’t caught,” he said. “We will be taking legal action against Miss Groff to recover the funds that she stole.”


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Neil A. Morris is Chair of the firm's Philadelphia Labor and Employment Group. He has passionately represented employers for the last 30 years. He concentrates in the areas of labor and employment, municipal labor law, employment discrimination, defamation defense, commercial litigation, and business litigation. He has served as Special/Labor Counsel for more than 35 Pennsylvania Townships and Boroughs, the County of Bucks and many private employers. He is often brought into municipalities to handle "crisis" situations involving employees and/or management.

Mr. Morris handles cases throughout the country including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Mississippi, South Carolina and West Virginia. In 1999, Neil achieved one of the highest defamation jury awards ever in Pennsylvania for a business client. He also has extensive appellate experience arguing appellate cases before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Superior Court and Commonwealth Court as well as various Federal District Courts and before the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third, Fourth and Tenth Circuits. Mr. Morris has also argued successfully before the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Mr. Morris practices before many federal and state administrative agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board; the United States Department of Labor; the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.





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