“Four rulings spread across more than 100 total pages” were recently issued by Cambria County President Judge Norman A. Krumenacker III concerning RTKL requests made by Johnstown resident John DeBartola, according to a November 20, 2018 edition article in The Daily American/OurTown Johnstown. An Office of Open Records Final Determinations database search shows 24 matters involving DeBartola in 2016 and 2017, and three listed as pending in Common Pleas Court as shown in this chart;
|2017-0050||06/29/2017||DeBartola v. Cambria County District Attorney’s Office||Request sought various records relating to drug expenditures and employee information.|
|2017-0534||06/22/2017||DeBartola v. Cambria County||Request sought DUI account information and audit reports|
|2017-0399||04/25/2017||DeBartola v. Cambria County District Attorney’s Office||Request sought various records related to asset forfeiture accounts.|
The story by OUR TOWN reporter Bruce Siwy suggests that, “In several instances throughout the rulings, Krumenacker appeared to be at odds with the district attorney’s position” and Siwy quotes requester DeBartola as characterizing the requested records as being about “secret slush funds” after DeBartola alleged that “some of the money has been spent on country club dinners and pricey laptop cases”. With the opinions covering “more than 100 total pages”, it appears that Judge Krumenacker’s opinions contain a thorough discussion of the applicability of the RTK law to the variety of the District Attorneys and County’s records dealing with the District Attorney’s asset forfeiture records. However, as of the date of this post, the Office of Open Records has not yet posted Judge Krumenacker’s opinions nor were the opinions available on Lexis.
A leading appellate case on these types of requests made of Pennsylvania District Attorneys offices is Stacy Parks Miller, District Atty. v. County of Centre, et al., 98 MAP 2016, November 22, 2017, with a Concurring Opinion by Justice Donahue.