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Federal lawsuits allege former mayor solicited chief to quell domestic abuse claims

Two city police officers and a former police captain alleged in amended complaints in federal court that former Williamsport Mayor Gabriel J. Campana asked his chief of police to “fix” a protection from abuse order “problem” that he encountered while in office.

The amended complaints were filed in U.S. Middle District Court recently by city Sgt. Jody Miller, Officer Dustin Reeder and former Capt. Donald Mayes, according to documents before U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew W. Brann.

The events in question occurred prior to Campana’s entry into the 2019 primary, when he was candidate seeking the Republican party nomination for Lycoming County commissioner, according to the court documents.

During that time, Campana allegedly solicited former city Police Chief David J. Young’s assistance by asking Young to reach out to his state police contacts in order to fix the protection from abuse issue, the complaints said. Young was in a managerial role with the state police Troop F before being selected by Campana to be the city police chief.

The mayor and his now ex-wife were going through a separation and she alleged domestic abuse.

In their original complaint, Miller, Reeder and Mayes allege they faced retaliation for speaking out about alleged corruption, fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement within the department. Miller, Mayes and Reeder had not mentioned Campana’s domestic problems in their original complaint.

Campana, who is divorced, described the allegations as “fake news,” saying his then-estranged wife dropped the PFA less than three weeks after it was filed.

Attempts to reach Young were not successful.

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