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Two York County constables charged with record-tampering
Two York County constables are free on their on recognizance, accused of fudging official state forms.
Adam Harris, 40, of Hanover, and Royce Foltz II, 35, of Penn Township, are charged with tampering with public records, unlawful use of a computer, making false statements, various counts of theft by deception and, for Harris, receiving stolen property.
They were arraigned Monday morning before District Judge Linda Williams, who would not let a reporter enter her courtroom once the proceeding began.
Their attorneys said the constables maintain their innocence.
Attorney George Margetas, who represents Harris, said his client is being prosecuted for doing his job.
"He's been a dutiful constable for 10 years," Margetas said.
Learning the job: Attorney John Mooney said the allegations have upset his client greatly, and that his client is still trying to learn how to be a constable. Court documents reveal Foltz was elected in January.
"Unfortunately, Mr. Foltz is being prosecuted for trying to learn a job that has no known notebook of procedures ... or any administrative orders for constable protocol," Mooney said.
He and Margetas said that since the allegations, county officials have moved to create standard protocols for constables.
Harris and Foltz were suspended from constable duties in August by York County Common Pleas President Judge Joseph C. Adams after the allegations surfaced, their attorneys confirmed. Both men's regular workload included transporting incarcerated prisoners and serving subpoenas, warrants and summonses, their attorneys said.
According to Margetas, nothing happened in the case after that until late November, when Adams gave prosecutors until Jan. 5 to show that they were still actively investigating. The charges filed Monday appear to be the prosecution's answer to the judge's question, Margetas said.
The allegations: Charging documents filed Monday by Doug Demangone, assistant chief of the York County detective squad, allege Harris had Foltz improperly submit constable cost sheets in Harris' name, including while Harris was on vacation in Florida.
It went on from June 18 to July 30, according to charging documents.
Foltz was submitting paperwork to York County on behalf of Harris and signing Harris' name on that paperwork, according to allegations. The paperwork was seeking payment for warrants and subpoenas allegedly served by Harris, documents state.
County workers also noticed that a warrant card dated July 28 indicated that Harris had contacted a defendant that day, despite the fact that he was on vacation in Florida between July 23 and July 30, according to charging documents.
At baseball game? On July 28, the day Harris was supposed to have contacted the defendant, according to the warrant card — he had "checked in" via Facebook to the Florida Marlins vs. St. Louis Cardinals baseball game, documents state.
Demangone compared Folz's writing to Harris' writing and found "significant similarities" to Foltz's writing on the documents supposedly completed and turned in by Harris, charging documents allege.
A total of 17 costs sheets with 22 total transactions are suspect, documents state. The 22 transactions total $726, of which Harris was paid $330 for 11 of them, according to documents.
In addition to allegedly filling out and submitting Harris' paperwork, Foltz also used Harris' login information to gain access to York County's MISSILE system, documents allege. The computer system lists every defendant with outstanding warrants.
'Criminal offense': In 2008, Harris completed paperwork to be given access to the system, and in that paperwork he acknowledged that "sharing his username/password was a criminal offense," documents state.
On Aug. 22, a Penn Township detective told police that Harris confided he'd "screwed up and that he had been training Constable Foltz and had Foltz serve some of his legal paperwork," documents state.
"Harris then said that he (Harris) then submitted the paperwork for payment since Foltz didn't want (to be) paid. Harris told (the detective) that he didn't see anything wrong with that," documents allege.
Online records from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency indicate both constables are certified to carry firearms, and that their state certification expires in February.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.