D.A. Asking State Attorney General to Investigate Charges Against Shamokin Mayor
SHAMOKIN — The Northumberland County district attorney says he will ask the state attorney general to look into the charges against the mayor of Shamokin.
District Attorney Tony Matulewicz said neither he nor any of his assistant district attorneys approved the original charges against Shamokin Mayor William Milbrand.
Police accused Milbrand of covering graves in the Shamokin Cemetery, of which Milbrand is also the president, during the construction of a cell phone tower in the cemetery.
Just before midnight on Saturday, Matulewicz announced he was requesting to withdraw the charges due to a lack of evidence.
The mayor held a news conference on Sunday. The district attorney noted that at the conference, retired Shamokin Police Officer William Miner said, “The charges were cleared by the D.A. prior to filing… only after witness intimidation and phone calls were made did he change his mind.”
Matulewicz said he never approved the charges either orally or in writing.
“My signature, nor the signatures of any of the Assistant District Attorneys appear on the criminal complaint,” Matulewicz said. “There is a section that allows for a signature of approval. This criminal complaint never received a signature of approval.”
Matulewicz said he discussed the case with Officer Miner and requested that the evidence be sent to his office.
“It goes without saying that any officer should know that if you seek the District Attorney’s advice and/or approval on a matter and they request additional information that the charges are not ripe to file nor do they have approval simply because they were discussed with the District Attorney,” Matulewicz said.
The district attorney said Milbrand, through his lawyer, requested an investigation into the case.
“I kept an open mind throughout this entire investigation but in no way, shape, or form did I ever approve these charges against Mr. Milbrand nor did I ever nor would I ever succumb to political pressure. I merely did what I thought was just. This matter will be immediately forwarded to the Attorney General for a full and impartial investigation,” said Matulewicz.