NO RECORDS FOR CASH!
Part of a comment in today from Elaine Keno who attended today’s court hearing is below (thank you!). Please see the comments for her full report.
If I were still a radio reporter, and had to do a liveshot at noon, my “lead” would be that “Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman claims he has NO records for seizures of CASH from civil forfeiture procedures by his office, or records of how much cash has been collected over the years since he has overseen the CF fund, which monies must then be used to fund the county’ Drug Enforcement Task Force. Under cross-examination by counsel for LNP Media, which first sought the records thru a right-to-know request…and Lancaster County Commissioners, who later joined in the legal battle, Stedman appeared to agree that he could turn over everything sought in this legal action regarding records for tangible assets sold, for example, at auction. However, when asked about the different procedure necessitated by the handling of actual money, Stedman claimed the amounts seized would have to be identified by each individual police department in the county and that it would be, virtually impossible for him to reconstruct how – in his example – $50.00 seized by a municipal department was then re-spent (through his office) to, perhaps, be used in a “drug buy”. On a folo-up question, Stedman conceded that his office handles the civil forfeitures to have the local police agencies hand over their collection of illicit money to his office, so an accounting of how much money was collected could be gleaned from those court records. But pressed for an answer on an accounting of how much – and how – the, potentially millions of dollars in seizure money went OUT of his office, Stedman professed not to know, and that he doesn’t know because there is, essentially, no records of that. When asked if his office has a safe, Stedman said he ” didn’t know”, but that he “would hope so”.
Back in the day, I would have had a sound bite in there, but this was not a break. I left because I had heard enough.
Ron Harper was there and if you were, too, I’d love to hear other observers takes. It sounded like one of those old Hogan’s Heroes defenses to me.
FWIW, I have covered, literally, hundreds of these kinds of trials.
(ret. Broadcast Journalist)
** Please see the comments for a report from someone who attended today’s court hearing.
* There is a hearing this morning at 10:00 am in Courtroom #2 of the Lancaster County Courthouse on DA Craig Stedman’s civil forfeiture records. The Judge’s order is below.
WHO DO THEY
THINK THEY ARE?
Today’s LNP article (click here) and an excellent comment posted under it on Lancaster Online.
The arrogance and stupidity of this city administration (and the prior) is simply astounding.
Please check back later today.