Fisrt came Watergate, Bonusgate, & Porngate ...now comes 'Tapegate' (the Secret Tapes of Centre County & the Centre County DA's Office)

When the Government oes scandalous things and then tries to hide what it is doing the citizenry has a right to be upset. The County of Centre and the Centre County DA's Office have conspired to ignore the requirements of the County Records Committee by using a crappy third rate archival system of tapes to store government records. Now these two governments have the nerve to suggest to the citizery that their own crappy tape system is a valid reason why they don't even need to look for records when they receive Right to Know Law ("RTKL") requests.

Two different disputes have broken out in the Centre County Court of Common Pleas after two different citizen Requesters defeated this absurd argument on appeal at the Office of Open Records ("OOR"). Instead of complying with the OOR's Orders the County of Centre and the Centre County DA's Office conspired to file appeals of the OOR decisions as they try to keep the information on the tapes secret. Public record filings:

Campbell v. Centre County District Attorney's Office Yurchak v. County of Centre
3-6-18 Campbell defeats DA at OOR 3-8-18 Yurchak defeats County at OOR
4-4-18 DA appeals to Court 4-6-18 County appeals to Court
4-9-18 Campbell Entry of Appearance
4-9-18 Campbell Answer to DA Petition

4-9-18 Campbell Motion to Transfer Record at OOR

4-24-18 DA Requests for Subpoenas

4-26-18 Court Order Requiring OOR To Transfer Record

    Observations

    1. The appeal of the DA and the appeal of the County uses words, phrases, and argument that overlap in identical ways. Clearly, these two separate government agencies are coordinating with each other to keep the tapes secret. Fortunately for the citizenry the DA and County don't know the RTKL very well. By way of example both secrecy loving governments allege that the Centre County Court of Common Pleas has a "statutorily described duty to act as the finder of fact" . Actually thereis no "duty" to perform a de novo review.. See Commonwealth Court page 9 ("As a Chapter 13 court, we may undertake either de novo review and develop the record as a fact-finder, or rely on the record created by the appeals officer below. Dep’t of Labor & Indus. v. Heltzel, 90 A.3d 823 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2014) (en banc)"). See also Commonwealth Court page 7 footnote 5. ("Court has the discretion to rely upon the record created below or to create its own. Dep’t of Labor & Indus. v. Heltzel, 90 A.3d 823 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2014) (en banc); see also Bowling v. Office of Open Records, 990 A.2d (en banc), aff’d, 75 A.3d 453 (Pa. 2013)."
    2. The County has no business in Campbell v. Centre County DA's Office, (Common Pleas Dkt. 18-1277). Commonwealth Court case precedent is clear. The records I sought are "of" the DA's office. They are not "of" the County. Per Section 901 the records I sought are in the actual or constructive possession of the DA's Office.