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Article published April 4, 2013
Company fires official after his fraud indictment
The senior vice president of Westar Development, which is building the new VA Butler Healthcare center in Butler Township, has been fired after he was indicted on construction-related fraud charges in U.S. District Court in Cleveland Robert “Bob” Berryhill made numerous appearances in Butler County to talk about the $74 million project, which is scheduled for ground breaking at 10 a.m. today. Berryhill, 51, was terminated by Westar after being indicted Wednesday. However, none of the allegations in the indictment against Berryhill are related to Westar or the veterans facility, according to Mike Tobin, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. Late Thursday, Westar president Sam Calabrese, issued this statement: “Upon learning of the charges filed against Mr. Berryhill, he was immediately terminated as an employee of Westar Development. None of the alleged actions occurred while he was an employee of the company.” The charges relate to the summer of 2008 through the fall of 2009 when Berryhill of Aurora, Ohio, was senior vice president of Carnegie Management and Development Corp. of Westlake, Ohio, according to the indictment against him. Berryhill is accused of creating a fictitious company as a way to divert at least $225,000 from construction projects, including the construction of two FBI buildings, for his own personal use. Meanwhile Calabrese said, “The VA Butler Healthcare Center project will continue to remain a priority for Westar Development.”