Real quick: Together with three partner newsrooms, Spotlight PA has asked a judge to release the grand jury presentment in the case against Herm Suplizio, the suspended DuBois city manager.
A little more: Four news organizations have petitioned a county judge to release a key document in the widely publicized corruption case against a suspended City of DuBois official accused of stealing more than $600,000 in taxpayer and nonprofit funds.
The news outlets, including Spotlight PA, are asking the judge who oversaw the grand jury investigation into Herm Suplizio to remove the unusual seal on the presentment in the case. That document, which details the basis for filing criminal charges, is still secret more than four months after the Office of Attorney General publicly announced theft and other charges against him.
Since then, the office, led by Attorney General Michelle Henry, has refused to disclose who sought the sealing or discuss the basis for it. When asked that question again this week, a spokesperson for the office would not answer it directly.
Instead, in a statement Tuesday afternoon, spokesperson Brett Hambright said: “The Office of Attorney General is only permitted to release grand jury documents, such as a presentment, when the supervising judge has issued an order specifically authorizing public disclosure.”
Hambright did not elaborate.
Lawyers for the news organizations — which also include LNP | LancasterOnline, WITF, and WESA — argue that the law that governs grand juries presumes public access to presentments unless a judge requests secrecy until “the defendant is in custody or has been released pending trial.”
Suplizio was arrested and charged March 20, and a news release from the attorney general’s office announcing the charges was made public the same day.
The full story: Read more here.