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

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

Rich Cholodofsky
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 [email protected]

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