WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) With restrictions loosening in several local counties, there still seems to be some grey area over who is enforcing the state orders still in place.
The Lycoming County district attorney’s office will no longer prosecute or investigate any business owners who choose to reopen.
Lycoming County District Attorney Ryan Gardner says due to an uptick in narcotic activity and violent crimes, his office will be diverging from enforcing Governor Tom Wolf’s reopening restrictions.
He says, county detectives already have their hands full with a number of cases including a homicide that took place in the beginning of April.
“There’s been a number of shootings in addition to that homicide and we just want to make sure, especially our new intel officer, the importance to be able to identify what the right hand and left hand are doing,” Gardner told us.
In a news release sent out this week, Gardner says, “to help ensure the continued safety and welfare of all county residents, the allocation of this office’s resources must be applied to the prosecution of criminals engaging in violent and drug-related activities.”
It’s also why he’s putting his focus into bringing a new county detective on board.
Gardner went on to say, “the importance of this position became very relevant having some down time but opportunity to speak with many people including state police, PSP vice crime, Williamsport Bureau of Police etc., and see if we can wrap our hands around all these cases and these instances.”
Gardner also says business owners choosing to open must be mindful of the governor’s ability to impose civil consequences. And Governor Wolf’s orders have been upheld by state courts and the U.S. Supreme Court has not overturned the order.
County council will hold a special meeting Friday at 5pm to discuss the letter to the governor and then vote on whether to forward it to him.