Video released showing deputy sheriff’s alleged campaign donation solicitation
Video evidence from the public corruption trial of Westmoreland County Sheriff Jonathan Held was released Wednesday.
Lawyers for the Tribune-Review and WPXI-TV successfully argued that the public has the right to view the evidence presented in court earlier this week as part of the prosecution’s criminal case against the sheriff. Senior Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy Creany of Cambria County, who is presiding over Held’s trial, granted the motion from the media companies and turned over a copy of the video.
Prosecutors contend Held, 44, of Hempfield, directed his deputies and staff to perform campaign activities while on duty.
Witnesses said the video depicts Deputy Sheriff Vince Izzo in uniform as he drives a county car to the A&S Indoor Pistol Range in Youngwood, enters the store and solicits a donation for the sheriff’s campaign fundraiser. Held has disputed the charges and maintains his innocence.
Lawyers for the Tribune-Review argued the video’s public release is essential.
“Any ruling on access must bear in mind that this is a trial that involves serious allegations of public corruption where the public’s right to access and monitor the proceedings is most important,” according to the court motion filed by Tribune-Review lawyers David Strassburger and Kathryn Clark.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or [email protected]