News

Court challenge against York Mayor Michael Helfrich is withdrawn

Written by Dylan Segelbaum/The York Daily Record | Jan 9, 2018 8:05 AM
michael_helfrich12.jpg

York city mayor-elect Michael Helfrich. (Photo by Jason Plotkin/York Daily Record

Karen Comery, an attorney for Rick Loper, Anthony Orr, Carla Evette Freeland, Margaret Eckles-Ray, Kim Murray and Toni Smith, said in a statement that the decision was based on several factors "and in no way addresses the merits and/or underlying factors concerning the action."

(York) -- Six people who had filed a lawsuit asking a judge to declare that York Mayor Michael Helfrich was not eligible to serve because of his felony convictions on Monday withdrew the complaint, though the reason is unclear.

In a statement, Karen Comery, an attorney for Rick Loper, Anthony Orr, Carla Evette Freeland, Margaret Eckles-Ray, Kim Murray and Toni Smith, said the decision was based on several factors "and in no way addresses the merits and/or underlying factors concerning the action." The York County District Attorney's Office, current plaintiffs or different plaintiffs can reinitiate the lawsuit in the future, she said.

The plaintiffs could not immediately be reached or declined to be interviewed. Comery said in an email that she would not be answering questions.

"From the beginning, we felt that it was a meritless case," said Chuck Hobbs, Helfrich's attorney, "and that this had already been litigated by the citizens of York County."

When asked if he expected another lawsuit to be filed, Hobbs said, "Anybody can sue anybody." They will be ready to defend their position, he said, and feel that the issue has already been settled.

In 1991, Helfrich, who was then 21, pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit possession with intent to distribute LSD and psilocybin mushrooms and possession of marijuana. Common Pleas Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh in 2012 ruled that he had never been convicted of an "infamous crime" and was eligible to serve on York City Council.

Helfrich, a Democrat, was sworn in as mayor on Jan. 2. In November, he defeated the incumbent, Kim Bracey, by 120 votes after winning on the Republican ticket in the primary via write-in.

n an interview, Helfrich said "we're going to keep doing our thing -- what other people do is up to them."

"There are a million moving parts in this city, and we're working on that -- and really not giving a second to worrying about what somebody else might do regarding this issue," he said.

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The York Daily Record

Published in News, York

Tagged under , , , , , ,

back to top

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »