Jury Finds Ex-Head of Johnstown Redevelopment Authority Guilty of Extortion, Bribery
JOHNSTOWN, PA—After deliberating approximately two hours, a jury of four men and eight women found Ronald W. Repak guilty of violating federal extortion and bribery laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today, Thursday, July 9, 2015, Repak, 63, of Johnstown, Pa, was tried before United States District Judge Kim R. Gibson in Johnstown.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie L. Haines who prosecuted the case, evidence presented at trial established that Repak, while serving as Executive Director of the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority (JRA), engaged in conduct in violation of the Hobbs Act for extortion under color of official right, and engaged in acts of federal program bribery. Specifically, in exchange for Repak’s official actions and influence as the Executive Director of the JRA to facilitate the award of JRA contracting work, Repak solicited and obtained from local contracting firms a new roof for his personal residence and building demolition and grading services at Evolution Gym, his son’s privately-owned business. He was convicted of two counts for extortion under color of official right and two counts of federal program bribery relative to the roof and the Evolution Gym. Mr. Repak was found not guilty of a charge of extortion under color of official right and federal program bribery in relation to multiple Pittsburgh Steelers football game tickets.
Judge Gibson scheduled sentencing for Dec. 8, 2015, at 10 a.m. Based upon the convictions handed down by the jury, the law provides for a maximum total sentence of 60 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
The Laurel Highlands Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Repak.