Judge to analyze Charleroi woman's debt load

| Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009

A district judge in Washington County will try to determine whether a woman who spent a night in jail after failing to pay her sewer bill has the means to cover her debts, her attorney said.

Darlene Pennline, 74, of Charleroi was sentenced to the Washington County Jail earlier this month after she missed a payment owed for a sewer surcharge levied by the borough.

The amount of her original sewer bill was $200, but grew to $1,300 when penalties and court costs were added. Another judge ordered that Pennline be released the following day. Pennline's hearing is scheduled for Jan. 7.

Attorney Matthew Keranko, who is representing Pennline, is seeking an injunction against the municipality on behalf of residents who believe there are problems with the way collection of the surcharge is being handled.

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