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Battle over Cambria County drug forfeiture documents continues in court

A Johnstown man's battle with the Cambria County Attorney's Office over Right-to-Know requests regarding documents pertaining to the county's expenditures of its drug forfeiture fund continued at a hearing Wednesday. (WJAC)

EBENSBURG, Pa. - A Johnstown man's battle with the Cambria County Attorney's Office over Right-to-Know requests regarding documents pertaining to the county's expenditures of its drug forfeiture fund continued at a hearing Wednesday.

John DeBartola supplied the court with his response after the District Attorney's Office withheld several records he requested pertaining to spending of the drug forfeiture fund.

In his brief submitted to the court, DeBartola asserts that the District Attorney's Office said all records he requested prior to 2010 are not in possession of the District Attorney's Office.

DeBartola cites this is a violation and exemplifies a past case, District Attorney of Philadelphia vs. Bagwell, where the DA of Philadelphia was fined $500 for failing to comply with Right-to-Know Laws.

Another part of a request that was denied to DeBartola is over documents he requested related to money given from the fund to a Cambria County detective.

DeBartola said that the DA's Office denied the request as it pertained to criminal investigations.

His argument he is asking just for how that money was spent, and not for names of confidential informants or intricate details of criminal investigations.

"I find it sad that these local officials are so power hungry that they want to circumvent the law of our land," DeBartola said in court Wednesday.

A ruling is expected to be made in the near future.

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