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York County sheriff 'derelict' in duty over parking issue, board says

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
York County Judicial Center

The sheriff was derelict in his duties when he allowed United Fiber & Data CEO Bill Hynes to park in the secure basement lot under the York County Judicial Center for his protection from abuse order hearing, according to the York County Commissioners.

"By admission of the Sheriff, the formal security protocols were not followed," according to a joint statement from Commissioners Susan Byrnes, Doug Hoke and Chris Reilly.

They described it as a serious breach of security.

York County Sheriff Richard Keuerleber told The York Dispatch that Hynes — who is also connected to Think Loud Development — has donated money to the sheriff's office to help fund its K-9 program, specifically K-9 Dargo, whose handler is Lt. David Godfrey.

Hynes has never donated to any of Keuerleber's reelection campaigns, the sheriff said.

Keuerleber said he received a text Monday, July 15, from Godfrey asking whether Hynes could park in the secure lot. The sheriff said he approved the request and that after Hynes parked, he was escorted to the sheriff's officer by Keuerleber, who arrived around the same time as Hynes.

"He did visit with Dargo," Keuerleber said, and confirmed Hynes was escorted by sheriff's deputies the entire time he was in secure areas.

Hynes then left the sheriff's office through the public door leading into the judicial center and went to a hearing in which a temporary PFA was granted that bars him from having contact with his ex-girlfriend, Keuerleber said.

Hynes has parked in the secure lot a handful of times in the past to visit Dargo, the sheriff said.

York County Sheriff Richard Keuerleber

'Serious breach': The sheriff is responsible for security in the judicial center, according to the county commissioners, who issued this statement to The York Dispatch about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 23:

"The York County Commissioners have completed their investigation regarding a breach of security which occurred at the Judicial Center on Monday, July 15, 2019. The Commissioners have concluded, as a result of their investigation that there was a dereliction of duty by the Sheriff which resulted in a security breach. The breach allowed a defendant with an active Ex Parte Protection from Abuse Order against him to park in a secure area. By admission of the Sheriff, the formal security protocols were not followed.

"The commissioners believe this was a serious breach of security which will result in review of the county’s security policies and procedures in light of this incident and we intend to implement changes."

The sheriff responded by saying, "I look forward to whatever changes we're going to make in the policy and procedures."

York County's common pleas judges park in the secure lot, as do row officers. Keuerleber said the area where the judges park is not near where Hynes parked.

The sheriff said people who aren't affiliated with the judicial center also park in the secure lot — people such as vendors, construction workers, out-of-county officials and others.

Temporary PFA: Hynes' ex-girlfriend filed for a temporary PFA against him July 9, alleging he repeatedly threatened to kill her, shoved her repeatedly, stalked her when she was in Florida and choked her when they were in Fiji.

United Fiber CEO and Founder Bill Hynes announces the 400-mile network running from New York to Virginia, passing through York, is almost complete at a Thursday, Nov. 15 meeting. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

"The entire relationship he was in charge of everything," she wrote. "He wanted to know everywhere I was, and everything I was doing and whoever I was with."

The woman's petition alleges Hynes, 47, threatened her as recently as July 8 and alleges abuse going back to 2014, when Hynes hired her to work for Think Loud.

"The next thing I knew, I was in a relationship with my boss," the 25-year-old wrote in her PFA application.

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It states that Hynes owns guns, despite being a felon who is prohibited from possessing firearms.

Hynes pleaded guilty to third-degree felony theft by deception in Northampton County in December 2010 and was sentenced to 3½ months in jail and 50 hours of community service, according to court records.

The temporary PFA was granted on July 15, according to court records.

Common Pleas Judge Amber A. Kraft also ordered Hynes to relinquish any guns in his possession, records state.

Chris Ferro, who represents Hynes, emailed a statement to The York Dispatch:

"These are baseless allegations without an ounce of truth or support. The temporary order that was put in place was, by necessity and normal procedure, based upon a one-sided presentation of facts. This is a civil matter that was initiated by the petitioner after my client took steps to properly address the repayment, via a mortgage, a significant amount of money owed to my client. It’s interesting that none of these false allegations, which have no evidentiary support, surfaced over a period of years preceding the collection efforts. My client has no desire to have any contact with the petitioner and we will take appropriate steps to resolve this dispute so that arrangement can continue indefinitely."

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