Change in hours may trim backlog in Fayette warrants
A backlog of 7,000 arrest warrants issued for minor offenses such as disorderly conduct and underage drinking has prompted Fayette County's courts to devise a new way to serve the warrants after regular business hours without adding to overcrowding at the jail.
Tammy Lambie, deputy court administrator, advised the prison board on Wednesday the backlog occurred because in the past, constables served arrest warrants for summary offenses only during the day. That allowed them to take the individual before a district court judge for an immediate hearing, she said.
Individuals wanted on summary offenses were arrested only during the day, she said, because the jail would not accept them after business hours, when district courts were closed and hearings could not be held.
Now, Lambie said, constables can begin serving the warrants after hours because the warrants will contain a “collateral” amount that defendants can post at the time of arrest to avoid going to jail. Once they post the collateral, which could be as little as $50, Lambie said, they will be released.
The individual, Lambie said, would then have to appear before a district judge at a later time for a hearing.
Most people likely will post the collateral, Lambie said, but those who do not will go to jail. To ensure they receive a quick hearing, she said, plans call for having the hearings done via videoconferences twice weekly at the jail.
In other matters, the board:
• Hired three lieutenants for the prison at an hourly rate of $21.73 each. Two, Joseph Barnes of Connellsville and Joshua Smith of Uniontown, already work at the jail as corrections officers. The third, John Lenkey of Brownsville, is a retired state corrections officer.
• Heard from prison chaplain Terry Sanders, who advised them he obtained a quote of $3,000 for liability insurance. Sanders is seeking either an increase in his $350 monthly pay or for the county to pick up the insurance. The board took no action but indicated that for either request to be honored, the county likely will have to put out a request for proposals from others for the service.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Dunbar Township woman, toddler critical after crash
- ‘Bank at the Train Station’ to hold grand opening Saturday
- 58-acre site for proposed Fayette County jail back on market
- Connellsville native Stafford remembered for her generosity
- ‘Halloween Nights’ planned at Connellsville tech center
- Jobs are focus in 52nd District House race in Westmoreland, Fayette
- $1.2M flowing to Connellsville through partnership program
- Connellsville’s ‘Mr. Trombone’ loves his life in small hometown
- Lower Tyrone fall cleanup scheduled for Thursday
- Ambrosini won’t give up on new prison for Fayette County
- Connellsville honors the late Ralph Wombacker