No charges against Kaleta; mayor squashes police 'bill'
SUNBURY - A Shamokin man who refused to leave a Northumberland County commissioners' meeting last week after posing questions implying various allegations will not be charged in connection with the incident.
In a letter dated Friday to Commissioners Vinny Clausi, Richard Shoch and Stephen Bridy, Sunbury Police Chief Stephen A. Mazzeo said his department's investigation into Kaleta's actions at the Jan. 22 meeting did not reveal any "prosecutable violations." He said the probe included a review of the audio tape of the meeting provided by the county and consultation with county District Attorney Tony Rosini.
Clausi reserved comment about no charges being filed against Kaleta.
Kaleta said Tuesday he didn't expect any charges to be filed against him because he doesn't believe he did anything wrong.
Police 'bill' county
In the letter, Mazzeo requested payment of $700 from the county for services rendered to conduct the investigation, which he said normally would have been performed by the county detective, a position that was eliminated in the district attorney's office due to budget cuts.
Mazzeo said police spent seven hours at a rate of $100 per hour on the probe.
Clausi said he since discussed the issue with Sunbury Mayor David Persing, who told him to forget about it.
"Mayor Persing told me to throw the bill in the garbage can," Clausi said.
He added, "I think it was ridiculous for the police to expect us to pay for the investigation. Why would they even consider that?"
During the meeting in question, Kaleta, who has spoken out against the county's development of the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA), rattled off a list of 16 questions to Clausi - a majority of them related to a recent claim by the state that the county unjustly awarded grant money to the relative of a county employee, but others suggesting more serious wrongdoing.
Clausi said Kaleta was out of order, and asked him to leave or he would call police. Clausi said he was also upset that Kaleta used foul language at a public meeting when he quoted something Clausi allegedly said to him three years ago.
Kaleta refused to leave, even after a request by county security director Ronald Yeager.
The meeting soon ended, however, and Kaleta left prior to police arriving, which was about 90 minutes later because they were notified it wasn't an emergency and that Kaleta had left.
Clausi said county officials also are considering filing a lawsuit against Kaleta for the questions he posed at the meeting.