Lawrence County Prison Board will try to resolve dispute

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Lawrence County Prison Board members agreed to keep their disagreements over a recent judge's order out of the courts.
Prison Board President Ed Fosnaught asked members to reconsider a decision to file a lawsuit concerning a recent court order issued by Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Judge Ralph D. Pratt.
The order requires the jail to accept for overnight stays drunken people arrested by police and others arrested after district magistrates' shifts have ended. Some prison board members opposed the court orders, saying only those ordered to jail by the magistrates should be admitted.
Fosnaught suggested the board work out its differences with the judge outside the courtroom.
"I still do not believe these court orders are in the best interests of the county, neither do I see any benefit to Lawrence County Corrections from a fight in court between the prison board and president judge," Fosnaught said in a letter to the other prison board members.
District Attorney Matthew Mangino, also a member of prison board, agreed.
"There has to be a way we can sit down and find a solution for everyone involved," Mangino said.
Meeting offered: Judge Pratt, also a prison board member, offered to meet with other members of the board to resolve the matter.
In other business, Fosnaught, who has served six years as prison board president, said he would like to step down as president. He asked other members of prison board to consider taking the position when the board reorganizes in January.

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