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Westmoreland

Penn State police charge Westmoreland sheriff's captain with harassment

| Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, 6:09 p.m.
Travis Day, 23, of Jeannette was appointed captain in the Westmoreland County SheriffÕs Department.
Travis Day, 23, of Jeannette was appointed captain in the Westmoreland County SheriffÕs Department.

Penn State University police Friday charged a top official in the Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Department with summary harassment.

According to court records, Capt. Travis Day, who this week was suspended with pay by Sheriff Jonathan Held, was cited for an incident while he was attending a 19-week training course required before he could continue active duty with the sheriff’s office.

Police contend the Aug. 10 incident occurred on campus at the student activity center in which Day “with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person did follow the victim, did go through the victim’s belongings, and did not allow the victim to walk past him while going upstairs.”

According to the citation, Day was fined $300 for the offense.

In a statement from the Penn State, officials said Day has been was removed from the training program for new sheriff’s department employees.

“Mr. Day was released from the program that is delivered by the Justice and Safety Institute and funded by the Pennsylvania Crime and Delinquency Commission due to alleged violations of the program’s code of conduct. Penn State Police have investigated the incident and action was taken,” the statement read.

Held in March hired Day, 23, of Jeannette, to serve as a captain in the department. That made Day, who had no prior law enforcement experience, the third-ranking member of the sheriff’s department.

The sheriff on Friday declined to issue any additional statements regarding Day.

Day is the second member of Held’s leadership team on suspension. On Monday, Held confirmed he suspended Chief Deputy Patricia Fritz with pay after learning she was under investigation by the county district attorney’s office for a complaint filed by a department union official who alleged that she was physically abusive during an altercation in the sheriff’s office.

Held, the two-term elected sheriff, was charged this year with public corruption-related offenses for allegedly ordering on-duty staff to perform campaign work. He has denied those allegations. His trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 24.

Rich Cholodofsky and Paul Peirce are Tribune-Review staff writers.

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