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Judge Bova Recuses Himself from Becks Run Fire Case

The magistrate for Upper St. Clair and Bethel Park will now hear the case.

The preliminary hearing for the embezzlement case involving the former fire chief and deputy fire chief of the Becks Run Volunteer Fire Department was continued on Monday.

The hearing was rescheduled for 9 a.m. on Nov. 16 in front of District Judge Robert Wyda, the magistrate for Upper St. Clair Township and Bethel Park. District Judge John N. Bova of Baldwin Borough recused himself from the case.

A judge may recuse him or herself from a case should he or she feel a conflict of interest with any of the participating parties, or have some other legitimate reason.

Leonard "Len" Novak and Stephen Bonetti, chief and deputy chief, respectively, were charged in August with misusing approximately $25,000 from the Pennsylvania firemen's relief fund over an approximately five-year period.

Novak is charged with three counts of theft by deception; one count of receiving stolen property; two counts of unlawful use of a computer; one count of criminal conspiracy; two counts of forgery; three counts of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence; two counts of theft by failure to make a required disposition of funds received; and three counts of tampering with records or identification.

Bonetti is charged with two counts of theft by deception; one count of criminal conspiracy; one count of misapplication of entrusted property and property of government or financial institutions; two counts of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence; and one count of obstructing administration of law or other government function.

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