ALIQUIPPA — A former Aliquippa School Board director is the driving force behind a new petition to remove a current member due to her criminal charges.
Ezra Lowe is attempting to gain enough signatures to remove Catherine Colalella, who was arrested in November 2020 on three felony charges, including two counts of insurance fraud and one count of theft by deception.
All three charges are third-degree felonies.
According to official court documents, Colalella's case was not sent to trial. Instead, she was placed into an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for the charges, starting on Sept. 10, 2021.
In an email correspondence between Colalella and the Beaver County Times, the school board member stated: "With all due respect, most people do not know the entire story that has been portrayed to the media. I will not resign from my position and I have not been convicted, nor will I be.
"...The majority of the community of Aliquippa knows me very well and all that I do for our school, community and children. I am very well respected and supported in our community."
ARD, which is very similar to first offenders programs, shows that Colalella has to complete community service, pay a fine and was put on probation.
Attempts to reach school board President LaRita Stewart and Superintendent Phillip K. Woods for comment were unsuccessful Friday.
This article originally appeared on Beaver County Times: Petition to remove Aliquippa school board member underway