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Commissioners approve legally-required court services

Several contracts to ensure Lycoming County’s judicial integrity were passed by the commissioners Tuesday.

The county is legally obligated to provide representation, if the defendant has no other means, and psychological services, said Adrianne Stahl, court administrator.

Jeana A. Longo was contracted to represent Joseph Coleman in regards to additional firearm charges for the 2016 murders of three people in two incidences.

“He has already been convicted of homicide but there are some additional firearms charges that were severed,” said Stahl.

Longo’s services were obtained for $100 per hour.

“(It’s) standard compensation in cases where they’re not persuing the death penalty and the not-to-exceed $75,000,” she said. Though it’s hard to keep firms to that number, it is used for budgetary purposes, she added.

The commissioners also approved a professional services agreement with Scotilla Psychological Services LLC for evaluations.

“Those services are used when there’s a claim that a defendant is not able to understand the proceedings against him or her or unable to adequately defend him or herself,” said Stahl. “So he or she might have to undergo a psychological evaluation to aid in sentencing.”

The contract will last retroactively from July 1 to the end of 2020, and is not to exceed $50,000.

Finally, Stahl received approval for contracting Donald Martino to represent Jamir Hines in a 2017 homicide.

The County Public Defender’s office developed a conflict in the case, she said.

Services will cost $100 per hour but are not to exceed $25,000.

In other business, the commissioners eliminated a part-time custodial worker position, a temporary assistant position with the planning office and an executive secretary position from the county court system.

Commissioners Jack McKernan, Rick Mirabito and Tony Mussare were present.

The next meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday in the briefing room at the Executive Plaza, 330 Pine St.

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