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Hearing Postponed for Former Union Aid Society Treasurer

Tracey Gist of Leet Township was given 90 days to make $5,000 in restitution to the Sewickley-based non-profit agency.

A preliminary hearing was postponed Tuesday for a Leet Township woman accused of stealing $6,194 from the Union Aid Society.

Tracey Gist, 45, of Pilgrim Drive, appeared in Leetsdale District Court to answer charges of forgery, theft by unlawful taking, and access device fraud.

"We're just looking forward to putting this behind us so she can move forward," her attorney, Frank Walker II of Pittsburgh told Patch.

Gist agreed to repay $5,000 in restitution within 90 days before her next court date. Gist previously repaid Union Aid $1,200 for money she used to pay her personal utility bills, police said. 

According to a criminal complaint filed by Sewickley police, Gist forged seven checks to pay personal bills between the start of her term as Union Aid treasurer on June 1, 2010 through May. She later resigned after Union Aid leaders confronted her. 

Police said records show Gist cashed a $5,000 check on Dec. 22, 2010 to get her house out of foreclosure and cashed another $1,194 in Union Aid checks to pay her mortgage and utility bills from June 2011 to May.

In June, police said Sherri Leifman, executive director, and Union Aid president Gretchan Burnham were reviewing fiscal year records in preparation for their annual review when they noticed a discrepancy with a client's financial aid amount.

Police said Gist admitted to forging the checks because she was in financial distress. 

Union Aid Society is a 110-year-old nonprofit that provides emergency financial assistance and other programs to qualifying residents from the 11 communities within the Quaker Valley School District. The nonprofit said its services to the community have not been impacted.

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