BLOOMSBURG - A Mount Carmel woman who was convicted of lying to police in Northumberland County Court was sentenced last Tuesday by a Columbia County judge.

Columbia County Judge Scott W. Naus sentenced Joan M. Cicchiello, 59, of Mount Carmel, to probation and a $200 fine for filing false reports with law enforcement. The sentence came recommended by prosecutors in the case, as Naus admitted to knowing few details about the case, according to a Press-Enterprise story.

While convicted in a jury trial before Northumberland County Judge William H. Wiest in July, all three Northumberland County judges recused themselves from the sentencing due to Cicchiello naming them among the defendants in a lawsuit in Northumberland County Court.

Cicchiello was charged by Patrolman David Donkochik of the Mount Carmel Borough Police following his investigation of a dog law violation in 2006. A German shepherd in her custody had been found running at large on Nov. 12, 2006. Cicchiello was issued citations for failing to keep proper custody and control of the dog.

At the hearing held in January 2007 before now-retired Magisterial District Judge Michael Mychak, Cicchiello testified that the dog belonged to her son and was in his custody and control at the time. An investigation following the summary trial revealed that Cicchiello had provided false information to the court when she implicated her son.

At Tuesday's trial, Cicchiello testified that in fact the dog belonged to her 8-year-old step-granddaughter and that she had purchased the dog for her as a gift. She also testified the dog only stayed with her every other week. The jury deliberated for approximately 40 minutes before reaching a verdict.

Defense attorney Carmen Marinelli told the judge that the case had a long history and that an appeal will be filed on Cicchiello's behalf.