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I-Team: Controversy surrounding Luzerne County District Attorney seat

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A controversy is unfolding regarding the status of the Luzerne County District Attorney’s seat.

County council voted to vacate the seat arguing that the County’s Home Rule Charter prohibits D.A. Stefanie Salavantis from holding the seat since she is a candidate for Luzerne County Judge.

Salavantis says that state law governs her position and it permits her to hold the seat, superseding county law. Salavantis had announced previously that she was resigning, anyway.

“Well there is a state law, much of that state law deals with appointments to the offices, not with vacancies of the office. So yes, there is a conflict and probably will be some kind of a decision rendered at some point defining those terms. Defining which terms is the term that supersedes the other,” Tim McGinley, Chairman of the Luzerne County Council said.

It appears that the decision will be made in a courtroom.

In the hours after the county council voted to vacate the District Attorney seat, there was some question about whether criminal cases could be filed in the interim. Upon review, criminal cases are being filed and paperwork is being signed jointly by Salavantis and First Assistant District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce.

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