SCRANTON -- State police and the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office served sealed search warrants Thursday morning in Lackawanna County related to the county jail.
It was a sight that shocked many passersby: troopers and agents out in force at the Lackawanna County Prison in Scranton pulling boxes and files from the place.
At the same time, a force just as strong taking computer hard drives and files from the Lackawanna County offices on Spruce Street.
County officials issued a statement that the raid's focus was on the IT and Human Resources departments, searching documents dating back to 1999.
"The Lackawanna County commissioners welcome this investigation which was referred to them by the Lackawanna County district attorney's office on June 26, 2016," said Lackawanna County general counsel Don Frederickson.
This is the latest step in a saga involving alleged misconduct at the Lackawanna County prison over the last year and a half.
Six corrections officers were suspended back in June of 2016 then, a bombshell of a lawsuit in December 2016 alleging sexual abuse and a wide-scale cover-up.
The investigation was kicked up to the state level.
Lackawanna County officials say the attorney general's raid was a surprise but that they're investigating, providing all required documents.
"They're just basically employee files. That's all I can say, really. What they're looking for in them, I don't know."
The presence at the prison and in downtown drew an audience, some who have been watching the prison investigation closely, like Steven Guziewicz.
"I think, in large part, this county's official government structure has operated too independently for far too long, and it's time that an outside jurisdiction, such as the state, take a look at some of the allegations that have been made," Guziewicz said.
We reached out to all three Lackawanna County commissioners and they did not have any comment for us. We also reached out the attorney generals office and have not heard back.
We have heard that the office does not intend to file any charges or make any arrests today.
The Lackawanna County commissioners issued this statement:
"In response to a request made last year by the Lackawanna County Commissioners, this morning (September 21) agents from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and State Police served a search warrant on the Lackawanna County Human Resources and Information Technology offices seeking records related to an investigation of alleged incidents at the Lackawanna County Prison that go back to 1999.
"The Lackawanna County Commissioners welcome this investigation, which was referred by them to the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s office on June 16, 2016. Due to the fact that the District Attorney is a member of the Prison Board, he referred this matter to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.
"Lackawanna County will continue to cooperate to the fullest extent with the Attorney General’s Office and State Police in regard to this investigation."