"The people I grew up with, to this day, after 30 or 40 years, we're still friends," said Leonello, 45, who grew up in
Those relationships are why Leonello, his brother Frank and local business owner
Missing audits meant
Leonello said his lifelong friend,
"He looked at me and said, 'We have to lay off 10 policemen. I can't do it as the chief of police. These are my guys,' " Leonello said.
Leonello and borough officials are hopeful the loan will bridge the gap between the cash-flow problem and completing audits to get the borough back on track.
The reason the audits are missing is a mystery, but some
Galla, who resigned abruptly in June, was borough manager when the audits were missed. Borough officials soon turned over a computer to
Galla has released multiple online statements on a local news blog, defending himself and saying he would talk with investigators.
"If, as they claim, they were so concerned about the borough's general annual audits, why didn't any of them -- seven councilors and a mayor, along with other officials -- ever ask to see one?" Galla wrote.
Bodnar has been
"We never had anything like this," he said.
The audit will look to ensure compliance in those areas, among others, he said.
"If there's something that's not going right, they're going to let us know," he said.
The borough sent out tax bills last week ahead of schedule and offered a 3 percent discount on bills paid before
Leonello said he's confident he, his brother and Stein would be repaid within the six-month term.
"We gave them the bridge to get to that point that now they'll be able to get back on their own and solve the matter, and I believe it," Leonello said. "They'll be back on their feet."
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