LAWRENCE COUNTY DA will probe gripes on ads
The district attorney will be asked to investigate for any election code violations.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- The Lawrence County Election Board is turning over complaints about election advertisements to the county district attorney's office for further scrutiny.
District Attorney Matthew Mangino could not be reached for comment Tuesday about the referrals.
Board members say the complaints surfaced over three separate matters.
Candidate Fosnaught: They received two written complaints about newspaper advertisements and postcards sent to Republican voters by Lawrence County Commissioner Ed Fosnaught.
Fosnaught urged voters to vote down a government study commission referendum. Voters ultimately approved the referendum.
Election board members said they received complaints before the election from the Lawrence County League of Women Voters, who spearheaded the campaign for the referendum, and Robert Baird, a candidate for the study commission. Both claimed Fosnaught did not clearly state who paid for the information.
Fosnaught has said that he paid for the advertisements and he thought that his signature at the bottom of both items made that clear.
Election board members, however, said the lack of a disclaimer stating "paid for by" was confusing.
Board member Philip Boudewyns said the board now knows Fosnaught paid for the advertisements, but the lack of a disclaimer may make it appear that the advertisements were funded by the county.
School board: Another complaint lodged by Frank Rondinelli, a Neshannock School Board candidate who won a seat on the board, also was sent to Mangino.
Rondinelli said fliers with derogatory comments about him and four of his running mates were placed in newspaper tubes and mail boxes in the township.
Jury commissioner: A third complaint involving a newspaper advertisement placed by Amy Shea, Lawrence County's Democratic jury commissioner, also will be sent to the DA's office.
Board members said they had complaints about an unclear advertisement for a fund-raising party. Shea and the Lawrence County Humane Society were named in the advertisement, but it did not say if Shea or the society would receive the funding from the benefit.