Ex-Somerton Civic president arrested again

The former president of the Somerton Civic Association was back in police custody on Tuesday as authorities were preparing to file an additional theft charge against him.

According to a police source familiar with the investigation, the new charge stems from a $1,500 donation that the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 made last summer to an American flag-hanging project coordinated by Kaplan on behalf of the civic association. Rather than depositing the FOP check for its intended purpose, Kaplan endorsed it and took it to a check cashing agency, bank records show.

The alleged theft was part of a scheme in which Kaplan took more than $12,000 from the civic association’s checking account and pocketed about $8,000 in additional donations that were meant to benefit an effort to hang American flags on utility poles along Bustleton Avenue.

In an interview with police detectives, Kaplan admitted that he took money and he initially repaid $19,714 to the civic association. But police say that Kaplan did not disclose the FOP donation during his interview. He was first arrested on Oct. 27 and charged with two counts of theft, along with receiving stolen property.

Only later did investigators learn of the FOP donation when the union’s president, John McNesby, contacted them. The new charges against Kaplan will address the union’s complaint, a police source said.

Prior to yesterday’s arrest, Kaplan was free on his own recognizance and scheduled for a pretrial conference on Dec. 21.

A preliminary hearing for the new case had not been scheduled as the Times went to press. ••