Lackawanna County Commissioners told Newswatch 16 they believe missing prisoner holding cells were accidentally thrown out during courthouse renovations.
These prisoner cells were worth tens of thousands of dollars and now efforts are underway to replace them.
Lackawanna County Commissioners met with members of the county prison board Wednesday afternoon. The missing cells didn’t come up, but Newswatch 16 asked some questions. Commissioners didn’t have many answers about where the holding cells could have ended up. However, they discussed efforts to go ahead with renovations at the county courthouse.
Commissioner Corey O’Brien said they think the cells were taken apart and accidentally thrown out when the courthouse was renovated in 2005. He said when he took office in 2008 a county inventory was done, but he never knew about the portable cells.
Regardless, county judges say more cells are needed at the courthouse in Scranton so they are going ahead with a project to buy new ones and renovate part of the courthouse. They think it will cost taxpayers close to $200,000. If the holding cells ever turn up, it would help with that bottom line.
“The most important thing is to get the project done. This would have been a quick, simple, easy solution because they can be constructed inside bigger rooms that are already there and the problem would be solved. So, that’s a quick solution but we need a permanent good solution,” said Lackawanna County Judge Vito Geroulo who sits on the county prison board.
Judge Geroulo said some people with Lackawanna County think the missing cells could still be hanging around. He said the Sheriff’s Office is still searching for them.
Meanwhile, county judges are working with commissioners to come up with the money for the renovations.