Sen. Wagner case referred to state attorney general

Written by Rick Lee/York Daily Record | May 11, 2017 7:48 AM

If police charge state Sen. Scott Wagner in connection with an incident at The Country Club of York, the state Attorney General's office will handle the case, not local prosecutors. (Photo: File)

AG's office involved because of York County DA has conflict of interest

(Harrisburg) -- While the police investigation into the altercation between state Sen. Scott Wagner and an opposition research cameraman continues, York County District Attorney Tom Kearney already has notified the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office of his personal conflict of interest should charges be filed against Wagner.

"We have received a referral letter from the York County DA in this matter, and we'll be working with Spring Garden (Township) police," Joe Grace, director of communications for Attorney General Josh Shapiro, said Wednesday.

Wagner, R-Spring Garden Township, confronted a photographer from American Bridge 21st Century during a speaking event at The Country Club of York on May 2.

Intellectual property lawyer Bert P. Krages II says Wagner exceeded his rights and possibly committed a crime at a private event on Tuesday Sean Heisey, York Daily Record

After confirming the photographer was not affiliated with the event and was, in fact, a "tracker," someone who shadows and records politicians with the goal of capturing a politician saying or doing something that could be used against him, Wagner told the audience, "OK, you're about to see your senator in action."

Wagner then took off his lapel microphone, approached the cameraman and physically took the camera.

Spring Garden Township Police are investigating. Contacted by the Daily Record, Kearney offered that he was a longtime acquaintance of Wagner, who also is a campaign committee member and financial supporter of Kearney's preferred candidate in this year's district attorney race.

Typically, a prosecutor in the district attorney's office makes the final determination if criminal charges are to be filed against anyone.

But, Kearney said because of his own connections with Wagner, no one in his office would be involved in the matter and any charges filed against the senator would be referred to the attorney general's office.

Kyle King, spokesman for the York County District Attorney's Office, said Wednesday that the contents of the communication between Kearney and the AG's office will not be made public.

Wagner did not respond to a request for comment.

This article is part of a content-sharing partnership between WITF and the York Daily Record.

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