The former CEO of Colonial House embezzled about $103,000 from the West Manchester Township drug- and alcohol-rehabilitation facility, police allege.

Ernest Manuel, 47, of 236 Carlisle Ave., second floor, is charged with one count of theft, according to court records. Because of the amount of money allegedly stolen, the charge is a third-degree felony.

He was arraigned Wednesday at the county's central booking unit and released on $10,000 bail.

West Manchester Township Police said Manuel stole money from the 1300 Woodberry Road rehab between July 1, 2010, and July 30, 2012.

Manuel could not be reached for comment; it's unclear whether he's retained a lawyer.

He was fired from Colonial House, according to court documents.

Attorney Ed Paskey, who represents Colonial House, declined comment, saying the investigation is ongoing.

The allegations: According to charging documents, one of Manuel's duties as CEO was to deposit cash to the facility's bank account.

In an interview with investigators, Manuel admitted to changing financial records, but denied stealing the cash, according to police.

"Manuel said that someone else stole the cash and he covered it up because he was afraid of losing his job," the affidavit states. "Manuel states that he felt as though the board would hold him responsible if he called the matter to their attention."

He admitted that during the two years the thefts were occurring, he handled all but perhaps four of the cash deposits.


Audit done: Financial discrepancies came to light after an audit was done, at which point members of Colonial House's board of directors contacted police, according to the affidavit.

In December, Paskey notified investigators the board wanted to proceed with criminal charges, police said.

Manuel was CEO of Colonial House for about two years; prior to that, he worked as a member of the accounting staff for seven or eight years, police said.

Before being hired by Colonial House, he was a client there, according to his affidavit.

Colonial House is a nonprofit agency that provides inpatient and outpatient services to people with drug and alcohol addictions.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at