The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

January 30, 2013

Shamokin man won't be charged with disrupting county meeting

— SUNBURY — No charges will be filed against a Shamokin man whom a Northumberland County commissioner had removed from a public meeting for barraging him with questions.

Sunbury police said they investigated the complaint against Dave Kaleta and that he is off the hook when it comes to facing charges for disrupting a meeting.

Kaleta attended the county meeting last week and asked the commissioners to reconsider voting on a lease agreement involving the more than 6,000 acres of what is known as the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area.

Kaleta said he felt it was premature because he is still involved in a lawsuit against the county for banning him from the land. Kaleta successfully sued the county and Commissioners Vinny Clausi and Stephen Bridy for the right to enter the outdoor area.

After Kaleta spoke, the meeting moved ahead and the commissioners voted 3-0 to approve the lease agreement.

When it was time for the second part of the public input, the fireworks went off.

Kaleta grilled Clausi about Clausi’s dealings with several county employees and made accusations about the commissioner’s character. Clausi slammed down the gavel and told Kaleta his time was up.

Clausi said the county has a two-minute time limit for public comments. However, the tape of the meeting showed that Kaleta had spoken for only about 65 seconds.

Clausi ordered Kaleta to stop speaking or said he was going to have him removed.

When Kaleta kept talking, county director of security Ron Yeager approached Kaleta and asked him to leave, to which Kaleta replied, “The only way you will get me out of here is in handcuffs. I’m not leaving.”

Clausi ordered Sunbury police to be called, and Kaleta gathered his belongings and exited the building.

 

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