Judge throws out case against York probation officer

Liz Evans Scolforo

A former York County probation officer accused of having sex with one of the probationary clients he'd been supervising had his criminal case thrown out Monday morning.

Kevin James Webb, 42, of Spring Garden Township, appeared in York County Court on Monday for a habeas corpus hearing, where defense attorney Chris Ferro argued that there was no basis for Webb to be charged with obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function, a second-degree misdemeanor.

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"It was a terrible error in judgment, and he was fired for it," but it wasn't a crime, Ferro told The York Dispatch.

Ferro summarized his argument in a court petition filed Feb. 2, arguing that even if it's true that Webb was having sex with the woman, it did not rise to the level of the crime of obstructing justice.

"(Webb's) sexual relationship with an individual under his supervision may have been a colossal violation of his duties ... but it is not a breach of any 'official duty' and certainly not an 'unlawful act,'" the petition states. "At best, the commonwealth has established that the defendant exercised horrific judgment and violated the rules of his employer."

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Webb was already appropriately punished by being terminated from his job, Ferro argued.

"(Webb's) intention, while not honorable, was clearly not to obstruct the administration of law," the attorney wrote in his petition.

After listening to Ferro's argument, presiding Common Pleas Judge Harry M. Ness granted the defense request and dismissed the case against Webb, according to court records.

The charge against Webb was filed by York County detectives Aug. 30, court records state.

What was alleged: Court documents state York County Chief Probation Officer April Billet-Barclay reported the alleged improper conduct Oct. 27, 2015.

Billet-Barclay reported that it was another probationary client who first complained about the relationship, documents state.

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York County Detective Paul Pelaia investigated and spoke with the woman whose probation Webb was supervising.

The woman confirmed that she and Webb had a sexual relationship, according to documents.

Fired: Webb was terminated from his job Oct. 27, 2015, according to York County spokesman Mark Walters. That's the same day Billet-Barclay reported the allegations.

Webb was employed by the county for seven years, Walters has said.

The 27-year-old woman with whom Webb allegedly had sex has had several criminal cases in York County Court between 2009 and 2015 for charges including driving under the influence and possession of drug paraphernalia. She also has pleaded guilty to simple assault, records state.

The York County District Attorney's Office has not decided on its next step, according to spokesman Kyle King.

"We are currently reviewing the matter and are weighing our appellate options," King said in a statement.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.