Lycoming County Commissioners double down against Controller after catastrophic court case loss

Photo: Lycoming County Commissioners (L-R) Scott Metzger, Tony Mussare and Rick Mirabito

On Wednesday evening the Lycoming County Commissioners issued a press release after visiting Senior Judge John Leete dismissed the case they brought against duly elected Controller of Lycoming County, Krista Rogers.

The ruling by Senior Judge Leete does not address the issues raised in the County Code; those issues may be headed to Commonwealth Court for clarification.

July 21, 2021

Lycoming County Media Release

The Lycoming County Board of Commissioners have reviewed the court’s decision in our suit against the Lycoming County Controller. We conclude that this decision does not invalidate any of the actions that this Board of Commissioners has taken.

As we said when we initiated this process, we brought this suit solely to protect the integrity of the County’s financial operations, which were jeopardized by the Controller’s threats to withhold her signature from employee and vendor checks and to train and supervise staff. The suit allowed us to return essential fiscal functions to the County, where they had been effectively performed for decades.

The Court’s ruling does not change any of that. Those functions will remain where they now are again, within the County Office of Budget and Finance. Payroll, accounts payable, and the general ledger will be handled by the County employees with the Controller continuing to retain her oversight functions, which was never challenged by the Commissioners.

Filing this lawsuit was necessary to allow the Commissioners to remain as the ultimate managers of the County’s financial affairs in the best interest of the County’s taxpayers.

This is a developing story on TalkWilliamsport.com.

Systemic failure of Lycoming County DA’s Office to govern conduct of county detectives taints OAG investigation

Photo: Ryan Gardner, Lycoming County District Attorney, inherited a mess when he took office in January 2020.
The following is the result of a nearly 38-months long investigation
into the Williamsport Area High School Baseball Team trip
to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the spring of 2018.

This story is graphic and contains details related to multiple indecent sexual assaults.

The author and editor of this story have made the editorial decision to not publish the names of the individuals under the age of 18 at the time of the incident who have been clearly identified as committing these acts in this case they were recently formally charged with a crime in South Carolina.

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball

IF NOTHING HAPPENED IN MYRTLE BEACH

WHY WON’T THE WASD TELL US THE STORY?

PART XXXIII –

By Todd Bartley, TalkWilliamsport.com

News@TalkWilliamsport.com

On Monday, Lycoming County District Attorney, Ryan Gardner provided the following e-mail response to an inquiry from TalkWilliamsport.com regarding correspondence from the Office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro and the investigation in the 2018 WAHS baseball team trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina  where “criminal sexual misconduct” occurred with one teammate assaulting another.

The D.A. Gardner response is as follows:

“Todd,

Thank you for your patience with respect to comment on the OAG’s Myrtle Beach determination.

I recently received a letter from the Office of Attorney General regarding the Myrtle Beach referral.  The letter indicates the following:

“The OAG assumed jurisdiction of this investigation on May 27, 2020, at your request, and based upon an actual or apparent conflict of interest.  Following a lengthy and thorough investigation, the OAG has determined that insufficient evidence exists to justify any further action.  As such, we are closing our file.

As you may recall, the matter of this referral involved alleged hazing or assaults committed against minors in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 

While that location is beyond the jurisdiction of the OAG, as a result of the OAG’s investigation and cooperation with South Carolina officials, law enforcement action was taken in that jurisdiction for the criminal conduct committed there. 

The OAG was unable to determine whether any attempt to ‘cover-up’ the conduct occurred in Pennsylvania due to the failure of the District Attorney’s Office to create, implement, and enforce any policies governing the conduct of county detectives. 

While the OAG understands that this occurred prior to your tenure, it would be advisable to create, implement and enforce such policies moving forward which are consistent with law enforcement ‘best practices.’”

The deficiency identified by the OAG in the last paragraph, above, was identified by myself and new Chief Detective, Mike Simpler, immediately after I assumed office in January, 2020.  Since that time, policies and procedures have been implemented to correct these deficiencies.  Furthermore, this Office continues to adjust its policies to ensure consistency of reporting and adherence to law enforcement “best practices.”

As a result of the OAG’s findings and closure of this investigation, no county detectives that were employed prior to my tenure as District Attorney will be terminated.

Ryan C. Gardner, Esq.

District Attorney”

 

As background to the story, Ken Osokow (2018-2019) immediately preceded Gardner as Lycoming County District Attorney.

Current Lycoming County Common Pleas Judge Eric Lindhardt preceded Osokow as Lycoming County District Attorney. Osokow served as the top assistant district attorney for Lindhardt.

According to the Pennsylvania District Attorney Association website, “Linhardt was first elected District Attorney in 2007, and has been a practicing attorney for 25 years.  As District Attorney, Eric is responsible for a 1.9 million dollar budget and 33 full- and part-time employees.  In addition to operating and managing the District Attorney’s Office, Linhardt is also responsible for operating the Narcotics Enforcement Unit, as well as the Central Processing Center and DUI Center. He is a board member of the Lycoming Health Improvement Coalition, the Lycoming County Criminal Justice Advisory Board, Chairman of the Heroin Task Force’s Criminal Justice Sub-Committee, and Secretary of the Lycoming County Prison Board.”

Prior to Lindhardt, Mike Dinges and former Congressman Tom Marino also served as Lycoming County District Attorney.

This is a developing story on TalkWilliamsport.com.

AG Shapiro Accepts Accreditation For OAG & Statewide Agent Training Academy

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro today accepted the accreditation of the Office of Attorney General (OAG) and its Commonwealth Investigator Training Program by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association. The OAG’s accreditation was lost under a previous administration, and recently regained under AG Shapiro’s leadership. The office collaborated with other state agencies to develop professional, standardized training for all investigators statewide. This training is available to both criminal and civil investigators.

“We launched this collaborative training academy in 2019, and it is open to all law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth — including members of Pennsylvania’s police departments. Accreditation is a goal that I set my first days in office, and is one part of our years-long effort to regain trust in the office and build new bridges with departments and agencies all over the state,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “Accreditation has made our work better, and it is just the beginning steps to make us a stronger resource and a stronger partner for all of our partners in law enforcement.”

The accreditation program requires agencies to commit to up to 136 policies and standards of best practice for law enforcement throughout the Commonwealth, including policies that ensure:

  • The Office of Attorney General does not use bias-based policing;
  • Updated, regular training for agents interacting with someone having a mental health crisis; and
  • Compliance with the Pennsylvania Crime Victims Act, which requires agencies to provide information on the rights and services available for crime victims. This information must be provided in writing within 24 hours of arrest or filing of a complaint.

The Office of Attorney General was able to be accredited after the Pennsylvania legislature granted funding for the Commonwealth Investigator Training Program in 2018. The certification of the training academy is a requirement for accreditation.

The acceptance of accreditation by the Office of Attorney General creates a formal commitment that the Office and training academy are maintaining the standards set forth by the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission.

“It’s unprecedented because we train agents for both the civil and criminal work that our office takes on statewide,” concluded Attorney General Shapiro. “We have been given a unique set of responsibilities in the Office of Attorney General, and now we have the unique training needed to meet the mission.”

The academy was launched in 2019 and was formally accredited in March 2021. Classes of agents, which can include up to 45 trainees , complete training and graduate twice per year. The academy trains agents for statewide civil and criminal work. This service is available to all agencies in the Commonwealth. The training academy is an unprecedented program in Pennsylvania.

Who’s your daddy? How was former WAHS baseball coach Ryan Miller able to coach with a pair of DUI’s?

The following is the result of a nearly 36-months long investigation
into the Williamsport Area High School Baseball Team trip
to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the spring of 2018.

This story is graphic and contains details related to multiple indecent sexual assaults.

The author and editor of this story have made the editorial decision to not publish the names of the individuals under the age of 18 at the time of the incident who have been clearly identified as committing these acts in this case they were recently formally charged with a crime in South Carolina.

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball

IF NOTHING HAPPENED IN MYRTLE BEACH

WHY WON’T THE WASD TELL US THE STORY?

PART XXXII –

“Who’s your daddy?

How was former WAHS baseball coach Ryan Miller able to coach with a pair of DUI’s?”

By Todd Bartley, TalkWilliamsport.com

News@TalkWilliamsport.com

As part of its ongoing investigation into the “criminal sexual misconduct” incident which occurred during the Williamsport Area High School baseball team trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the spring of 2018; Right to Know Law requests continue to be made of the WASD by this author.

In recent months, ALLEGED PERPETRATOR #1 was charged by South Carolina law enforcement authorities and remained a captain on the Williamsport Area High School baseball team until his recent graduation.

Since the first Right to Know Law request was filed in 2018 by this author; the WASD has engaged in very consistent behavior to obstruct the existence of “public records”.

Contained within the first WASD Right to Know Law responses was a denial of background check and clearance documents required by Pennsylvania law to have interaction on behalf of school districts with children.

Those requested documents were denied by the Williamsport Area School District.

TalkWilliasmport.com contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Education for this story and received the following response from Kendall Alexander, Press Secretary (she, her, hers), Pennsylvania Department of Education:

TalkWilliasmport.com: Can you provide a copy of the PA 153 form school employees must fill out as part of obtaining clearances?

Also, would a DUI arrest and/or conviction preclude a potential school employee from obtaining a PA 153 clearance?

Alexander: There are three different background checks: child abuse clearance, PA State Police criminal history, and federal criminal history.  More information about the required clearances and how to obtain them is available here: https://www.education.pa.gov/Educators/Clearances/Pages/default.aspxhttps://www.education.pa.gov/Policy-Funding/BECS/Purdons/Pages/BackgroundChecks.aspx

 

“There is an employment prohibition associated with certain DUI convictions. A school employee/prospective school employee who has been convicted of a DUI offense graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree AND who has been convicted more than once of DUI is barred from school employment for a period of three years following the expiration of the sentence pursuant to 24 P.S. 1-111(f.1)(3).”

On a follow-up from TalkWilliasmport.com Alexander added:

“It is not possible to determine whether the individual in question is subject to the ban because we do not have the individual’s full criminal history. School districts handle scenarios on a case-by-case basis keeping the law in mind. Volunteers are also up to local decision by the school districts. Their decisions are ultimately guided with the Child Protective Services law in mind, which is under DHS.

PDE cannot speculate on any individual case without knowing all the details involved.

It would be best to reach out to the school district as they will have more information and be able to inform you on how they have handled the matter.”

TalkWilliamsport.com reached out to DHS and were referred back to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

 

RYAN MILLER SECOND DUI IN DEPTH PUBLIC RECORD

TalkWilliamsport.com obtained the criminal case docket entries from Lycoming County Court public records.

While researching the case, the police report filed on April 5, 2012 regarding the second Ryan Miller DUI reads as follows:

AFFIDAVIT OF PROBABLE CAUSE

On 2-19-12 at about 0124 hours Officer Bowers and I were working a DUI Roving Patrol for Lycoming County in the city of Williamsport during Mardi-Gras. While traveling west in the 100 block of W 4th St we noticed a black 2008 Range Rover bearing a Washington Registration (REDACTED BY AUTHOR) as it pulled in front of us.

The vehicle was completely straddling the center line and then jerked hard into the right lane not signaling the lane change. Then the vehicle appeared to fully accelerate for a half block before turning right onto William St.

I initiated a vehicle stop on that vehicle in the 400 block of William St.

I made contact with the driver identified by his PA Drivers License as Ryan L. Miller.

His speech was slurred badly, his eyes were dilated and bloodshot, and I noticed the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath. He said he had just left the Cell Block. I asked Miller to step out of the vehicle and perform SFST’s. 

(EDITOR’S NOTE: SFST’s is Standardized Field Sobriety Testing)

The first test administered was the HGN. He exhibited lack of smooth pursuit, distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation, and nystagmus onset prior to 45 degrees in both eyes for a maximum 6 out of 6 clues.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: HGN is Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus is a series of three tests for the smoothness and accuracy of eye movement control. The eye control becomes visibly disrupted to the examiner when a suspect is impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.)

The second test was the Walk and Turn. Miller was not able to keep his balance during the instructional phase (1 clue), he missed his heel to toe on every step (1 clue), he stepped off the line on 3 occasions (1 clue), and he made an improper turn (1 clue). He exhibited 4 out of 8 clues for this test.

The third test was the One Leg Stand. Miller exhibited 0 out of 8 clues on this test.

The 4th test showed lack of convergence in his left eye. I asked Miller to submit to a PBT but he refused. Miller was taken into custody for suspected driving under the influence of alcohol and transported to the DUI center for processing where he did give a blood sample.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: PBT is Portable Breath Test)

The Toxicology Report came back from the NMS labs showing Ryan Miller had a BAC of .209% at the time his blood was drawn at 0158 hours ON 2-19-12.

I, SGT DAVID PLETZ, BEING DULY SWORN ACCORDING TO THE LAW, DEPOSE AND SAY THAT THE FACTS SET FORTH IN THE FOREGOING AFFIDAVIT ARE TRUE AND CORRECT TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, INFORMATIONA AND BELIEF.

 

STATE LAW DEFINES DUI

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Vehicles website:

In 2003, Pennsylvania took a major leap toward eradicating drunk driving through the passing of Act 24.

In a nutshell, Act 24 made it easier for law enforcement to confront the drinking and driving problem by dropping the legal blood alcohol content limit for drivers down to 0.08%, and it introduced alcohol treatment into the penalty package.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Defined

The state operates behind a three-tiered definition for DUI based on a driver’s BAC:

  • General impairment: 0.08% to 0.099%
  • High BAC: 0.10% to 0.159%
  • Highest BAC: 0.16% and up OR a controlled substance

Translation, Ryan Miller had a Blood Alcohol Content of nearly three times the legal limit.

According to the addresses listed on the Police Report, from 400 William Street to the Miller residence in Montoursville; the trip would have been 8.7 miles and taken approximately 15 minutes to travel.

 

COACHING BASEBALL FOR MONTOURSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL WHEN SECOND DUI OCCURRED

According to information obtained from the Montoursville Area School District, Ryan Miller was employed as  a paid assistant baseball coach in 2012.

Ryan Miller was hired on January 10, 2012 and paid a coaching stipend of $3,000 for that baseball season.

Miller left the employment of the Montoursville Area School District on December 21, 2012. There is no disposition as to whether he was fired or resigned.

The Williamsport Area High School athletics website confirmed his time at Montoursville as follows:

Coaching Experience: 2010-2012 – Montoursville High School Assistant

 

TIMELINE OF MILLER COACHING AND DUI CASE

Miller Hired by MASD: 1/10/2012

Miller Arrested “for suspected driving under the influence of alcohol, BAC of .209%”: 2/19/2012

DUI Criminal Complaint Date: 4/4/2012

CHARGES: 1 M1 75 § 3802 §§ C** DUI: Highest Rte of Alc (BAC .16+) 2nd Off 02/19/2012

Initial Issuing Authority: Allen P. Page III, Magistrate Judge

EDITOR’S NOTE: Allen P. Page III is the father of Allen Page IV, currently representing Miller in civil litigation against this author

Ryan Miller hires George Edward Lepley Jr. to represent him in the second DUI case.

Lepley is the same attorney who authored the “Lepley Letter” of May 31, 2018 threatening the Williamsport Area School District with legal action of they punished ALLEGED PERPETRATOR #1 in the Myrtle Beach “criminal sexual misconduct” case.

Bail Set & Posting Date: 5/31/2012 Unsecured $1,500.00

6/18/2012 Arraignments & Awaiting Sentencing 1:30 pm Courtroom No. 4 Judge Marc F. Lovecchio

Guilty Plea

Final Disposition: 1 / DUI: Highest Rte of Alc (BAC .16+) 2nd Off Guilty Plea M1 75 § 3802 §§ C**

6/29/2012 Awaiting PSI

6/29/2012 Awaiting Sentencing

7/1/2012 Dr. Timothy Bowers begins as Montoursville Area School District Superintendent

7/9/2012 Sentenced/Penalty Imposed 11:30 am Courtroom No. 5 Judge Joy Reynolds

Min of 90.00 Days, Max of 90.00 Days (Jail Time)
Other Confinement  – Probation
Min of 5.00 Years, Max of 5.00 Years

Defendant was committed to prison on July 9, 2012 and released from prison on October 6, 2012.

1/15/2014 Butts, Nancy L. – Order Imposing Community Service 50 hours)

1/15/2014 Fedele, Suzanne – Notice Under PRCP 576 Filed

2/14/2014 Court of Common Pleas – Lycoming County – Penalty Satisfied

1/26/2015 Butts, Nancy L. – Order Granting Motion for Early Termination of Probation

1/26/2015 Fedele, Suzanne – Notice Under PRCP 576 Filed

Spring 2015 Williamsport Area High School Pitching Coach

2/23/2015 Court of Common Pleas – Lycoming County Delinquency Notice Filed – 75 Days Overdue

2016 Dr. Timothy Bowers hired as Williamsport Area School District Superintendent

2016 Ryan Miller replaces Corey Twigg as Williamsport Area High School Head Baseball Coach

March 2018 – “Criminal Sexual Misconduct” occurs teammate on teammate in the team hotel in Myrtle Beach

April 2018 – Ryan Miller resigns days after showing up and coaching a game highly intoxicated

January 2020 – Ryan Gardner is sworn in as Lycoming County District Attorney

May 2020 – Ryan Gardner refers to “Criminal Sexual Misconduct” case to PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro

Present day – Office of PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro continues its investigation of the “Criminal Sexual Misconduct” case

 

COACHING BASEBALL FOR WILLIAMSPORT HIGH SCHOOL PRIOR TO PA 124 ALLOWS IT?

In an ironic twist to this story, some how Ryan Miller was able to coach the Williamsport Area High School baseball team in the 2014-2015 season (spring 2015).

Did this fly in the face of what the WASD actually lists on their own human resources page?

The “Arrest or Conviction PDE6004 form” clearly enumerates the following for those convicted of a second DUI:

 A reportable offense enumerated under 24 P.S. §1-111(f.1) consists of any of the following:
(1) An offense graded as a felony offense of the first, second or third degree, other than one of the
offenses enumerated under 24 P.S. §1-111(e), if less than (10) ten years has elapsed from the date
of expiration of the sentence for the offense.
(2) An offense graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree, other than one of the offenses enumerated
under 24 P.S. §1-111(e), if less than (5) five years has elapsed from the date of expiration of the
sentence for the offense.
(3) An offense under 75 Pa.C.S. § 3802(a), (b), (c) or (d)(relating to driving under influence of
alcohol or controlled substance) graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree under 75 Pa.C.S. §
3803 (relating to grading), if the person has been previously convicted of such an offense and less
than (3) three years has elapsed from the date of expiration of the sentence for the most recent
offense.

So when Lycoming County President Judge Nancy Butts ended the probation phase of the Miller sentence that started the clock on the three year ban as stated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

“There is an employment prohibition associated with certain DUI convictions. A school employee/prospective school employee who has been convicted of a DUI offense graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree AND who has been convicted more than once of DUI is barred from school employment for a period of three years following the expiration of the sentence pursuant to 24 P.S. 1-111(f.1)(3).”

Or was it another baseball courtesy in the birthplace of Little League Baseball?

 

LITTLE LEAGUE CONNECTION

In 2016 Ryan Miller served as an alternate team host for the Little League World Series.

How is this possible when Little League International has stringent background and criminal history checks for team hosts and media?

Lee Miller, father of Ryan Miller and his current employer (Dixon AC&R) as noted on the Williamsport High School athletics website was just announced as a team host for the 2021 Little League World Series.

Lee Miller will serve for the 20th year along with the former Chief Detective in Lycoming County Willie Weber now in his 14th year as team hosts.

Weber waited five months to inform the Myrtle Beach Police Department of the “Criminal Sexual Misconduct” case; and only after they contacted his office.

Could Thomas Marshall, Chief Counsel for Little League International and who is currently representing Miller in civil litigation against this author provide insight into this?

 

RYAN MILLER COACHING PROFILE STILL REMAINS ON WASD ATHLETICS WEBSITE

 

Ryan Miller – 2017 Baseball Coaching Staff – Williamsport Area High School

EXPAND

Ryan Miller

Ryan Miller

Head Baseball Coach

Phone: (REDACTED BY AUTHOR)
Email: (REDACTED BY AUTHOR)

Hometown:  Montoursville, PA
High School Career: Pitcher – Mountoursville High School (SVL Conference Player of the Year 2005 & 2006, Sun Gazette Pitcher of the Year 2006).
College: Rider University – Pitcher (New Jersey Rookie of the Year 2007, 2 NCAA Regional Tournaments)
Coaching Experience: 2010-2012 – Montoursville High School Assistant, 2015 Williamsport Area High School Pitching Coach.
Occupation: Dixon A.C. & R Corporation – Vice President of Operations

 

CONCLUSION

With all of the corporate knowledge accumulated since the founding of Little League about the game of baseball in this area; all of the players, coaches, managers, parents and fans – the best the Williamsport Area School District could do for a head coach was a 2-time DUI offender?

That decision speaks volumes of the level of applicant for the job.

Is it any wonder how attorney George Lepley keeps appearing in these cases?

Who would ever foreseen Ryan Miller having to resign after showing up to a game highly intoxicated?

Are these the things that happen to regular people?

AG Shapiro Charges Assistant Marching Band Director With Distributing Child Pornography

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that an assistant marching band director at Central Dauphin High School has been charged with distributing and possessing child pornography after investigators found at least 50 files containing images of child pornography in his home. He has since been fired from his position.

“The defendant was trusted by his students and community while he also privately exploited children. Today’s arrest is another step towards a safer Commonwealth,” said AG Shapiro. “We will continue to work to protect children and hold those who hurt them accountable.”

Stephen Gugoff, 39, was arrested on Sunday, June 13. The charges came following the search of his home where agents found at least 50 files containing images of child sexual abuse on electronic devices in his home.

The investigation began after an officer with the Derry Township Police Department discovered an Internet Protocol (IP) address sharing files of child pornography on a peer-to-peer file-sharing network. After obtaining an administrative subpoena based on the IP address for the source of the files, it was determined that the individual who the files were downloaded from was located at Gugoff’s address in Harrisburg.

Gugoff is being charged with 25 counts of disseminating images of child pornography, and 50 counts of possessing those same images. This case is being prosecuted by the Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones. All charges are accusations, and the defendant is innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Congressman Keller supports inflationary reports for all spending and tax bills

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) today released the following statement after co-sponsoring a resolution that would require estimates of the inflationary impacts that all future spending and tax bills would have on low and middle-income families:

“Having grown up poor, I learned very early on in life the value of a dollar. Now, with the prices of everyday goods and services on the rise due to the Biden administration’s economic policies, Americans are spending more and getting less. The very people that President Biden professes to want to help are the ones who are feeling the strain of his policies the most. Every American deserves to know how this administration’s big government spending will impact their lives.”

BACKGROUND:

H. Res. 468, introduced by Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN), reads:

“A detailed analytical statement as to whether, and the extent to which, the increased budget authority, outlays, or revenue produced by the enactment of such bill or joint resolution into law may have an inflationary impact on prices and costs in the operation of the national economy. Such statement shall also include whether, and the extent to which, the inflationary impact would affect the purchasing power of low and middle-income families.”

Marc Schefsky, former WASD school board member given ARD sentence in voter fraud case

Photo: Marc Schefsky (middle back row) with the rest of the WASD school board members

On Monday, retiring Lycoming County Common Pleas Court Judge Marc Lovecchio imposed an ARD Program sentence on Marc Schefsky, former WASD school board member who was charged with misedemeanor false swearing for voting in the November election.

Based on information obtained from Philadelphia attorney Wana Saadzoi, Esq. “The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program” is considered a diversionary or “first time offender” program, designed to divert first time offenders for different charges like DUI in PAPA Drug Charges, or other crimes from entering the criminal justice system.

When a first time offender is accepted into the ARD program, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania suspends the charges against the offender, but requires that certain court-ordered conditions are followed.

These conditions may included drug and alcohol counseling, community service, restitution, etc. Similar to a probationary program, the ARD program requires a period of supervision.

Benefits of the Pennsylvania ARD Program

There are several key benefits to being accepted into the ARD program, the biggest being avoidance of jail time and not being labeled as a convicted criminal, but also possible avoidance of losing a driver’s license, and also avoiding costly and time consuming legal proceedings, court dates and hearings that people entering the criminal justice system must go through.

Once the ARD program is completed successfully, the original criminal charges are dismissed, and the offender may, 30 days after completion of the program, request the court to expunge the offender’s arrest record and ARD participation. Bear in mind that the ARD records will always be in the office of the District Attorney.

In Pennsylvania, admission into ARD is controlled by the District Attorney, who has broad discretion as to whom to allow into the program. Typically your criminal attorney will assist you in the process of admission into the ARD program but your counsel should caution you that there are no guarantees.

You will not be “convicted” of a crime if you enter the ARD program. Furthermore, the loss of your license to drive privileges will be for a short period of time, rather than the full year for a first time DUI conviction.

Additionally, 30 days after completion of the program, you can go to court to get the arrest record and ARD record expunged- cleaned up completely and removed from your past. 

Different counties have different stipulations and different application processes.

This is a developing story on TalkWilliamsport.com.

Congressman Keller releases video of conversation with border patrol agent

Congressman Keller releases video of conversation with border patrol agent:

“[Cartels] run people and then they’ll run dope behind it somewhere else.”

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) released the third installment of a candid conversation with a U.S. Border Patrol agent during a ride in El Paso in April. In the video, the agent explains that cartels control all aspects of travel across the border, using people to divert drug smuggling operations and other illicit activities.

(Click to watch)

Video transcript:

“If I was in Mexico and I wanted to cross over, I would have to pay a cartel to allow me to go across. I wouldn’t be able to just walk across because they’d beat me up or kill me.

“So even If I’m doing it independently, I have to pay a fee to do it. The reason they do that is because the more attention I draw to a certain area, they might not be able to use that to run their operations.

“They run dope and people simultaneously. They’ll run people and then they’ll run dope behind it somewhere else. Wherever the holes at.”

Congressman Keller: President Biden is putting politics over homegrown energy

Cutting energy development in ANWR will make America weaker

 Washington, D.C. – Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) today released the following statement on President Joe Biden suspending oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR):

“The fuel crisis that rocked the eastern seaboard last month illustrates the importance of investing in and securing American energy. Instead, President Biden dealt a major blow to America’s energy independence by banning responsible energy development in Alaska. Slashing domestic energy production does nothing to lessen its demand. It only serves to make our nation weaker and more dependent on foreign energy. Under President Trump, we experienced the benefits of an all-the-above energy economy: lower energy costs, family-sustaining wages, and strong national security. President Biden is putting politics over homegrown energy.”

Congressman Keller sends third request for a hearing on the border crisis

Joins Oversight and Reform Committee Republicans in calling on Chairwoman Maloney to act

Washington, D.C. – This week, Congressman Fred Keller (R-PA) and House Oversight and Reform Committee Republicans sent a third letter to Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) demanding a hearing to address the growing crisis at the southern border. According to the U.S. Border Patrol, there were 178,622 border encounters in April alone, marking a 20-year high in illegal border crossings.

“As we noted in our previous letter, this Committee held multiple hearings during the Trump administration on the treatment of children at the border,” the letter to Maloney reads. “It is surprising that you have failed to schedule a hearing during the current border crisis created by the Biden administration, especially as conditions continue to deteriorate and more and more taxpayer funds are required. Even as you remain silent, members of your own party in both the Senate and the House have decried the Biden Administration’s response to the border crisis.”

On the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s letter, Congressman Fred Keller made the following statement:

“In April, I traveled to the southern border and was stunned by the scope of the humanitarian and national security crisis unfolding due to the Biden administration’s detrimental immigration policies like halting border wall construction, ending the ’remain in Mexico’ policy, and functionally abolishing ICE. Now more than 50 days since my trip, the border crisis continues to worsen by the day as Vice President Harris—tapped by President Biden to lead the administration’s border efforts—has made no attempt to witness the crisis for herself. I urge Chairwoman Maloney to hold a hearing so we can get a clear answer from the Biden administration on what it plans to do to get this crisis under control.”

Read the full letter here.