The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 30, 2013

Commissioner demands answers about Northumberland County prison incidents

SUNBURY -  Two recent Northumberland County Prison incidents have a county commissioner demanding answers .

Commissioner Vinny Clausi was reacting to news that a guard was suspended on suspicion of bringing a cell phone into the prison for inmates to use and another guard was allegedly bringing drugs into the lockup.

The commissioner said Monday that he is fed up with having to deal with the county lockup and promises to “go public” every day until something changes.

“Enough is enough,” he said. “I can’t take it anymore.”

According to a person who was in a position to know, a female guard was caught after giving inmates a pre-paid cell phone to use in their cells.

County human resource director Joe Picarelli confirmed that a female guard was suspended without pay as of April 19.

Picarelli would not say what the suspension was for, but Clausi said he received word from prison Commander Brian Wheary about the incident after Clausi surprised prison officials with an early morning visit.

“Whoever brought this cell phone in must be fired,” Clausi said. “There was a cell phone found in a cell, and I will not stop investigating this until we have the answers.”

Clausi then exploded about a guard allegedly bringing in various drugs to the prison.

“We put people in jail for using drugs and now we may have someone bringing them in,” he said. “This is unheard of and it is unacceptable. This investigation will be over soon, and we will seek arrests.”

County Controller and prison board member Tony Phillips agreed.

“We will follow the law and we will do everything we can to stop this,” he said. “This is uncalled for and we need to find out everything we can and then we will follow the proper steps with the law.”

Clausi said: “We have management issues at this prison and this will change. I want to thank the public and families that are telling me what is really going on inside there. It’s a shame I have to depend on the innocent public to come to me instead of hearing these things from our own employees.”

Clausi said he hopes he has the backing of Phillips, President Judge Robert Sacavage and fellow Commissioner Steve Bridy.

“I urge the rest of the board to do what is right,” Clausi said.

“I warned this board weeks ago that if we didn’t start making changes I was going to go public with things about this prison.

“Until something changes I will continue to talk about what is going on. Stay tuned for tomorrow.”

Text Only
  • Baby, 3 others hurt in Route 11 crash near Danville

    DANVILLE — Two women, an infant and the baby’s 2-year-old girl sister were taken to Geisinger Medical Center following a three-vehicle chain-reaction accident at 3:14 p.m. Friday on Route 11 near Steve Shannon Tire and Auto Center in Mahoning Township.

    July 26, 2014

  • eyebrows.jpg Coming Sunday: Browsing for brows

    As makeup sales soar, four tips to make your eyebrows raise others'. Coming Sunday

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • William Cameron to spend $12,000 to find new chief

    LEWISBURG — The William Cameron Engine Company will pay a State College consulting firm more than $12,000 to help the Lewisburg fire house find its first paid chief after its first national search to fill the job ended without a new leader.

    July 26, 2014

  • Ann Targonski DA clears officer in Sunbury shooting

    SUNBURY — Three shots from a Taser could not stop 390-pound Erick Trometter from attacking Sunbury’s then-acting Police Chief Brad Hare with a large filet knife, so the veteran officer drew his gun and shot the 22-year-old city man in the leg, according to a report issued Friday.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • stauffer25br.jpg Area cyclist pedals 4,233 miles in 21 days for race

    Growing up in a Mennonite family, Jesse Stauffer often traveled the roads in Snyder County on a bicycle.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amazon worker pilots drone around Space Needle

    Police say an out-of-town Amazon employee was the operator behind a drone that buzzed the Seattle Space Needle this week.

    July 25, 2014

  • Carjacked vehicle strikes crowd, killing 2 kids

    Two men forced a woman into the backseat of her car at gunpoint and drove it into a group of people on a corner in Philadelphia on Friday, killing two children and critically injuring three other people, police said.

    July 25, 2014

  • Man calls police chief "brain dead"

    A Liberty Township man was cited for placing a sign calling Mahoning Township’s police chief “brain dead and hell bound.”

    July 25, 2014

  • New warden returning to Lewisburg penitentiary

    David J. Ebbert has been tapped to replace Jeff Thomas as warden at United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg.

    July 25, 2014

  • Fast food workers to escalate wage demands

    Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers are expected to discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.

    July 25, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.