Ex-Wyoming mayor wants name cleared after police search

By Geri Gibbons - For Times Leader
Former Wyoming Mayor Bob Boyer shows a photograph to reporters while discussing a police investigation at his home last week. - Jerry Lynott | Times Leader

WYOMING — Former Wyoming Borough Mayor Bob Boyer is hoping to clear his name following the search of his home by police last week.

“I’m reaching out to tell my story,” he said. “A guilty man wouldn’t do that.”​

A warrant behind the search focused on a state Local Share Account grant application proposed by Boyer when he was mayor on behalf of West Wyoming Hose Co. 1 Fire and Ambulance.

According to the warrant, police believe Boyer, who caters at the hose company, would have financially benefited had the $444,810 grant been approved by the state.

Boyer said that is not the case.

“The grant was intended to provide increased emergency service to area municipalities,” Boyer said in a recent interview. “It did not include any type of upgrade to the kitchen area.”

Boyer’s claim was bolstered by recent statements from current Wyoming borough councilman Mike Flynn and West Wyoming Fire Chief Matt Granteed Sr.

Flynn said he believed the grant’s intent was simply to improve emergency services to Wyoming and West Wyoming boroughs.

Further, Flynn said he felt that serving with Boyer had been an honor and that he would vouch for his character.

Granteed said the grant would have, in effect, provided a garage area for emergency vehicles and increased quality of emergency services for several municipalities.

“There was to be no upgrade to the kitchen,” he said.

Even if the proposed grant application had included an upgrade to the kitchen, Boyer said, it would not have exclusively benefited his business.

“I did the math, in 2017, I catered from the hose company nine times,” he said. “I wasn’t operating my business out of the hose company. I wasn’t storing food or equipment there.”

No charges have been filed in connection with the May 18 search of Boyer’s home.

Dominick disagrees

Current Mayor Joseph Dominick, to whom Boyer lost in November, disputes the ex-mayor’s reasoning.

“The grant clearly includes updates to the electrical, HVAC system and paving of the parking lot for the entire facility which houses the banquet hall,” he said in an email to the Times Leader.

“If one person decided to have their event at that hall because the parking lot is now paved and no longer dirt or because the building is being better cooled from the HVAC updates then Bob Boyer (the preferred caterer) benefits from this grant.”

Boyer not only said he believes that the search of his home was retaliatory, but that Dominick’s actions since being voted in have been less than ethical.

According to Boyer, Dominick, as mayor-elect, introduced a resolution in December authorizing an application on behalf of himself and councilman Mike Baloga for a $100,000 upgrade to the John Jude Bolin Park.

The only problem, he said, was that the grant included, without any bidding, a contract from Castle Construction, owned by Frank and Pat Kane, which documents from the bureau of elections show contributed $5,000 to his campaign.

According to Boyer, when questioned about the apparent conflict of interest, Dominick withdrew the resolution.

Dominick, however, takes issue with Boyer’s interpretation of the application.

“When I applied for the grant, I attached a proposal from Castle Construction which provided budgetary numbers for the application,” he said. “I understood the project would have ultimately gone out for bid.”

Political retaliation?

Boyer sees the investigation as an extension of last year’s bitter political battle between himself and Dominick. ​

“The affiant of the search warrant was Trooper Michael Mulvey, the son-in-law of Dominick’s campaign manager, Lynette Vilano,” Boyer told a reporter, holding a photo of Vilano speaking at a “Dominick for Mayor” event.

Boyer said during last year’s election season, it became apparent that Dominick “would go to any lengths” to win the race.

According to a Wyoming Borough police report from Oct. 22, 2017, Boyer had placed two signs in front of Choice Discount Cigarettes across from the Midway Shopping Center.

When the two signs went missing, Boyer reported them as a theft, according to court papers.

Boyer said a staff member from Choice told him the business had received free landscaping in return for allowing Dominick the exclusive right to put his signs in front of the store.

He also alleges Dominick has provided landscaping to several Wyoming businesses in return for the right to put campaigns signs on their property.

Again, Dominick takes issue with Boyer’s version.

“Mr. Boyer’s accusation that I arranged to have landscaping services performed in exchange for placement of campaign signs is baseless,” he said in an email.

Dominick also pointed out that Boyer never filed a complaint with the Luzerne County Election Bureau regarding his placement of campaign signs.

Former Wyoming Mayor Bob Boyer shows a photograph to reporters while discussing a police investigation at his home last week.
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_Bob_Boyer.rotated.jpgFormer Wyoming Mayor Bob Boyer shows a photograph to reporters while discussing a police investigation at his home last week. Jerry Lynott | Times Leader
Boyer wants name cleared after police search; current mayor disputes claims

By Geri Gibbons

For Times Leader