Judge issues order in regards to Lancaster County DA’s appeal of LNP open records request

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — A Lancaster County judge issued an order Thursday pertaining to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office’s appeal on the production of records related to an open records request from LNP’s Carter Walker.

Walker filed the request in September 2018 for drug forfeiture documents and records. The judge’s order follows a review of pleadings, briefs and testimony presented at a hearing on August 23, 2019.

The judge wrote that the DA’s Office has complied with the request when it provided copies of accounting and spending across 13 categories as well as 35 letters from community organizations regarding the receipt of drug forfeiture funds sent to aid said organizations.

To note, the DA’s Office has also released 221 pages of records of items sold at the Drug Task Force auction from 2012 through 2018 as well as 86 letters from the county controller indicating the DA’s Office’s compliance and asset forfeiture forms from 1999 to 2018, the order says.

Also in the order, the DA’s Office isn’t “required to produce records that disclose the identities, home addresses, and/or driver’s license numbers of the private parties who bid upon property sold at the Lancaster County Drug Task Force auctions.”

The judge did dismiss two of the DA’s Office appeals. And according to the order, the DA’s Office has 30 days to provide LNP’s Walker with forfeited items spread sheets from July 1, 2017 to September 7, 2018, and ledgers of cash funds kept in the Drug Task Force safe.

In a news release from the Institute for Justice, which is representing Walker and LNP, the law firm said that both parties “will file a new request for detailed receipts covering expenses paid for out of the district attorney’s forfeiture fund.”

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