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Society says it's concerned about attorney's whereabouts

November 23, 1998|By DON AINES

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Members of the Waynesboro Historical Society are concerned about the safety of their missing president, but a statement from the group says its funds are safe.

Pennsylvania State Police have been looking for Todd A. Dorsett, 38, of 128 W. Main St., since Nov. 12, when an arrest warrant was issued for him on a charge of hindering the apprehension of a fugitive.

Also still missing is Jacob V. Schaff V, 26, who has been wanted by state parole office and county authorities for more than a year. According to court documents and the affidavit of probable cause, Schaff once lived at Dorsett's home and had been seen there in recent weeks.

Dorsett is president of the Waynesboro Historical Society, and Vice President Mary Jane Weagly issued a statement Friday saying, "We are greatly saddened and dismayed to learn of the sudden disappearance of our president. ...

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"Over the last two decades, Mr. Dorsett has been a driving force behind the historical society, and his absence will be deeply felt."

"The board wishes to assure the historical society's membership and the public that all funds and other assets are accounted for and secure," the statement read. "The directors unanimously express great concern for Mr. Dorsett's welfare and for that of his family," the statement said.

Weagly declined to answer questions Sunday.

A woman who answered the telephone at Schaff's parents' home also declined to answer questions. Courthouse records showed Schaff had been charged with numerous offenses ranging from burglary to drunken driving since the early 1990s.

A neighbor of Dorsett, who spoke on the condition that her name not be used, said she believed the attorney sold off two vehicles in the weeks before he disappeared. The woman said he still had a Jeep last time she saw him early in the month.

Dorsett's disappearance has raised questions about his handling of estate money and other funds. A United Way of Franklin County official said last week that Dorsett had failed to distribute a substantial amount of money from an estate for more than a year.

An attorney for a Waynesboro woman last week also filed a civil complaint against him at the courthouse for failing to make a payment on a $30,000 promissory note he signed in April.

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