SPRING BROOK TOWNSHIP -- A contractor from Lackawanna County is accused of doing work without proper permits, and illegally burning his building materials.
Authorities arrested him Monday because of alleged threats he made to township officials when they confronted him about what he was doing.
Officials with Spring Brook Township, near Moscow, told prosecutors they had reached a breaking point with one resident after receiving multiple threats over the last several months. That resident, Paul Hrywnak, was charged with obstruction of government function. Township supervisors said because of Hrywnak they feared for their safety, and couldn't do their job.
Paul Hrywnak was criminally charged, basically, for keeping township supervisors from doing their jobs. The charge is called obstruction of government function, a misdemeanor. Hrywnak was also charged with harassment and making terroristic threats.
According to court papers, after months of problems with Hrywnak they called in their solicitor, Curt Parkins, to see what they could do.
"It was a pretty bad situation. I don't think it got to the point where no one could stand one another, it just got to the point where Mr. Hrywnak had exhibited that he has no real respect for the rule of law," Parkins said.
Arrest papers lay out a number of incidents where other residents saw Hrywnak doing construction work at his apartment building on Route 690 without proper permits and times when the fire department was called because there were reports of Hrywnak burning construction materials.
Supervisors said each time Hrywnak was cited by the township, supervisors received a threat. Prosecutors said last month hrywnak drove straight toward a supervisor's car on the highway, and a month earlier Hrywnak stood up at a township meeting and threatened to send his friends over with hammers and pitchforks.
So, Parkins says, township officials did all they could do in their power and then turned to the Lackawanna County district attorney's office.
"There were threats made on multiple occasions, that's what took it to the next level and required that we go so far as to press charges."
Paul Hrywnak was arraigned on those misdemeanor charges Monday morning in Lackawanna County court. He was released on $5,000 bail. If he is convicted, he could face prison time.