ShareThis Page
Westmoreland

Tribune-Review seeks surveillance video clips shown in sheriff's public corruption trial

Rich Cholodofsky
| Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, 5:45 p.m.
Westmoreland County Sheriff Jonathan Held poses for a portrait inside the gun vault at the Westmoreland County Courthouse in Greensburg on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Westmoreland County Sheriff Jonathan Held poses for a portrait inside the gun vault at the Westmoreland County Courthouse in Greensburg on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018.

Senior Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy Creany will hear arguments Wednesday to determine whether trial evidence shown to jurors in the public corruption trial of Westmoreland County Sheriff Jonathan Held should be made public.

The Tribune-Review is seeking access to three short video clips introduced in court Tuesday that witnesses said depicts a uniformed deputy sheriff seeking campaign donations at a Youngwood shooting range and gun shop.

“It’s a judicial record subject to the right of access. Absence compelling reasons the public must be granted access,” said David Strassburger, a lawyer representing the Tribune-Review.

Creany, a retired judge from Cambria County, is presiding over the sheriff’s criminal trial. He deferred a ruling on the media request to allow attorneys for Held and the state Attorney General’s Office to research the issue. Creany was appointed to the case this year after Westmoreland County judges were recused.

Deputy Attorney General Bobbi Jo Wagner said Tuesday there is one copy of the video from security tapes at A&S Pistol Range and expressed concerns about how its public release will impact store security and identify customers at the shop.

Defense attorney Ryan Tutera initially objected to the Tribune-Review’s request, saying he did not want the lone copy to be removed from the court’s jurisdiction.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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.

click me