Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Stockertown Council Member Pleads to Illegal Dump After Husband Tapes Hearing
It also attracted me, a bottom-feeding blogger. I went out there yesterday to photograph the property, but saw nothing. Neighbors tell me it's in the back. They thanked Officers Schwab and Shimer for addressing the situation, claiming they had been complaining for years without result.
Wenzelberger brought her husband Eric and Attorney Bob Patterson in response to 14 separate citations. She is pleading guilty to one, and has promised to clean up her property and make it available for inspection by police in the next 30 days. If they think she needs to do more, she will get an additional 30 days to address their concerns. But after that, the hammer falls.
Her attorney, Bob Patterson, explained. "If this doesn't work out, they're going to back here with noo defense, paying a lot of money."
Court records reveal that she had been cited before in 2012.
At an earlier hearing, Officer Schwab asked that Wenzelberger's witnesses be sequestered. That means they have to step outside the courtroom until they are called to testify. It deprives them of an opportunity of shading their testimony .
Wenzelberger's sole witness was her husband, and he dutifully stepped out. But as the case progressed, Schwab and Shimer noticed that an audio device had been slipped under the door and was recording the hearing.
Eric admitted he did that because he wanted to hear what was being said. Because he failed to get permission from the people he was recording, he violated wiretap laws. But he apparently did so innocently. As he explained to me, he simply was unaware he was violating the law and was very sorry. He attempted to say he was sorry yesterday in court, but Attorney Patterson instructed him to remain silent.
Police have filed no charges against Wenzelberger over the illegal audio.
Wenzelberger and his wife are both active in the Stockertown Youth Association, established many years ago by former mayor , Mayor Sherman Metzger, Wenzelberger is VP and his wife is Treasurer. Their next door neighbor is president. This organization has a healthy bank account, by all accounts, but has turned down a Borough Council request the help fund upgrades for the Pavilion in Newhart Park.
Wenzelberger tells me the money uis there and the checking account statement is produced at every Youth Association meeting. "But iut's outside our mission to provide curtains for a pavilion," he said.
He went on the lament that he wishes there was more coverage of Stockertown in the press. He pointed out no new properties can be built in Stockertown because the sewer system is at capacity. He also adds there are heavy fines outstanding for dumping sewage into the Bushkill Creeek.