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Lackawanna County DA sues commissioner over email access

DA Mark Powell says Comm. Debi Domenick went against county policy when she accessed hundreds of emails regarding a criminal investigation.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Lackawanna County District Attorney Mark Powell is taking Commissioner Debi Domenick to court.

The DA says Comm. Domenick got access to hundreds of confidential emails she did not have permission to see.

The Lackawanna County sheriff's office served Comm. Domenick with papers in her office Wednesday afternoon.

Powell filed a civil motion, saying that Domenick went against county policy when she accessed hundreds of emails regarding a criminal investigation.

Powell is asking a county judge to bar Domenick from interfering in any ongoing investigations, particularly by accessing emails from law enforcement, county judges, and prison staff.

According to court paperwork filed by Powell, sometime last month, Domenick told the county's IT director to send her 500 emails regarding an investigation into an employee at the county prison. Some of the emails she wanted were from a county judge. She also allegedly threatened county HR employees who were investigating a prison employee.

Attached to the motion from the DA to prevent Domenick from accessing county emails is the county's director policy manual. It states that no county employee, including commissioners, can use the county's electronic information resources for personal use. Access to the resources can only be used if the employee can provide a reason they need to access them.

In the civil motion, the district attorney states:

"The actions of Commissioner Domenick will have grave consequences if confidential information of ongoing criminal investigations is accessed by anyone other than those involved in investigating those incidents.

"The interference in investigations by Commissioner Domenick is contrary to benefit of the public and inconsistent with performing the duties of the office, to which she took an oath."

Powell said he could not comment on the case.

On Thursday, Domenick fired back.

In a statement released by the county solicitor, Domenick's camp said, in part, she "Vehemently disputes the truth and veracity of the allegations brought against her."

Credit: WNEP

A Lackawanna County judge will decide what happens next in this case. A hearing is scheduled for August 16.

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