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Bethel Park Councilman Facing Drug, Fraud Charges In Separate Cases

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BETHEL PARK (KDKA) -- A Bethel Park Councilman has been criminally charged twice in the last four days. Once in Jefferson Hills, and just two days ago, he was charged in his home district of Bethel Park.

Brandon Thomas Colella, 38, a Bethel Park city councilman, is facing a drug charge in the municipality he represents. He was charged on July 30.

(Source: Allegheny County)

Just two days earlier, Colella was charged in Jefferson Hills on fraud charges stemming from his private contracting business, BT Colella Construction in Bethel Park.

"He has done work for me," Jack Allen, the mayor of Bethel Park, said. "He was my contractor, he did my kitchen, did some work at my store here in Bethel Park, so I was surprised."

Colella has been a city councilman for the last several years in Bethel Park, and is a long-time resident.

Lisa Washington's Report:

Bethel Park City Councilman Paul Dixon told KDKA-TV, "Brandon is a wonderful guy, just a dedicated councilman and it was just a total surprise. I'm still in shock from it."

The Jefferson Hills charges relating to his contracting work involve home improvement fraud, writing bad checks and deceptive or fraudulent business practices. The separate drug charge stems from delivery of a controlled substance.

In the community, the reaction is one of disappointment.

"It's upsetting, especially in our borough community, especially because of the office he holds," resident Kathy Harding said.

As for his seat on City Council, the mayor confirmed Thursday that Colella has resigned.

KDKA reached out to Councilman Colella, but did not receive a call back. He has a preliminary hearing schedule for Aug. 9.

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