November 17, 2017 GMT

Troopers justified in returning fire in shooting

EASTON — State troopers were justified in using deadly force in a roadside confrontation in which a trooper was shot and critically injured, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said Daniel Clary, 22, fired the shot and was later wounded after the Nov. 7 struggle along Route 33 in Plainfield Township following a traffic stop north of Philadelphia. He added that the troopers exercised restraint during the violent encounter, using a stun device twice and only opening fire as a last resort.

Cpl. Seth Kelly, a 13-year veteran, was shot in his neck, shoulder area and leg during the close-quarters fight. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition, but was later upgraded to stable condition.

Clary, a resident of Effort in Monroe County, was hospitalized for five days and then taken to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $1 million bail on attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault and other charges.


Nondisclosure pact ban in harassment cases weighed

HARRISBURG — Amid a wave of high-profile sexual harassment cases across the nation, a group of Pennsylvania senators on Wednesday unveiled legislation seeking to ban nondisclosure agreements in cases involving sexual harassment and assault.

The legislation, pushed by a group of Democratic senators, seeks to remove the veil of secrecy that often accompanies settlements involving sexual harassment, stalking, or assault.

“It’s in darkness, it’s in quiet, it’s in silence that this madness is allowed to continue,” state Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-7) said at a news conference in the Capitol.

The bill would include a ban on agreements that prohibit public disclosure of names of people accused of sexual harassment. It also calls for opening up some past nondisclosure agreements, allowing a party to any such agreement to void it if signed under duress or as a minor.

Similar legislation has been introduced in other states, including New Jersey.

Judge declines to halt Camden school demolition

CAMDEN, N.J. — A federal judge has rejected a request for an injunction to stop demolition of the 101-year-old New Jersey high school building known as The Castle on the Hill.

U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler ruled Thursday that the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate that razing the edifice would create “concrete injury.”

The Camden High School building is set to be replaced as part of a $133 million project scheduled for completion in 2021. The state Schools Development Authority said demolition could begin in a month.

Delaware woman sentenced in $6 million fraud case

WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware woman charged with transferring more than $6 million from the operating account of the financial services company where she was vice president into her bank accounts was hsentenced to four years in federal prison.


WDEL-FM reported the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday that Roberta Czap, 67, was sentenced Monday. She pleaded guilty to wire fraud, money laundering and making a false statement on a tax return, and faced a maximum of 33 years in prison.

Czap’s husband, Matthew, was sentenced in July to a year and a day in prison after pleading guilty to structuring financial transactions to avoid currency reporting requirements.

Lawmaker accused of delay tactic in redistricting case

A lawyer arguing a lawsuit aimed at forcing a do-over of Pennsylvania’s congressional map said a powerful politician on other side was only trying to delay the case by calling for it to be moved from state to federal court, then withdrawing that request at the last minute.

The matter came to a head Thursday in a federal courthouse in Philadelphia, where a judge decided it would remain in a state court.

— Compiled from The Associated Press

Republican state Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati III had requested that the case be moved from state court to federal court, which is considering two other claims of improper gerrymandering in Pennsylvania. Scarnati is one of the defendants in the case, which was filed by 18 Democratic voters who claim the map was made unfairly to benefit Republicans.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs contend the case belongs in state court, which is scheduled to hear the matter on Dec. 11, because its claims are based on the state constitution, unlike the other two cases that rely on the U.S. Constitution.