SHAMOKIN, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The city of Shamokin recently swore in a new council member and now that seat could be changed again.
Eyewitness News spoke with the new member about how his past comes into play and what he hopes to see happen.
“Long road, ran a couple elections and decided to give it one more shot this time,” councilman Joseph Leschinskie Jr. said.
Joseph Leschinskie Jr., was sworn in this week for a four-year term as councilman in the city of Shamokin. Similar to past races, Leschinskie’s past has come up again.
“I was 23, 24 years old and got involved in some things that at the time I didn’t see an issue with and was caught and I paid my sentence, did my time,” Leschinskie Jr. said.
About 13 years ago he was charged with drug possession, but says mistakes when we’re young don’t define who you become.
“I came clean on my Facebook about it just because I felt like these people are going to judge me. Why shouldn’t they know everything about me,” Leschinskie Jr. said.
In Pennsylvania, individuals convicted of embezzlement, bribery, perjury, or other infamous crimes cannot join city council. Last week Leschinskie was served by Northumberland County’s District Attorney office stating that his felony contradicts this.
“Nothing that I have done has been a criminal act. And just because some people didn’t agree with the outcome of the election, I apologize but I’m with the majority, they put me here that’s why I’m here,” Leschinskie Jr. said.
Now he has 20 days to file an answer with his counsel. If Leschinskie’s term is sustained, he plans on working closely with the youth and underserved communities.
Eyewitness News reached out to the Northumberland County District Attorney’s office for a comment, but have not heard back yet.