Luzerne County Council Chairman Rick Morelli’s attorney said today she is researching the legality of a video of her client that has been posted to online stories about a protection-from-abuse claim filed against Morelli.
The 13-second video shows Morelli and another man yelling outside a pizza restaurant, though it contains no physical contact or profanity. Morelli asks the woman who is apparently filming the video about her husband and throws out the word “adultery.”
The video ends with a woman walking away, but she may be another restaurant customer who has nothing to do with the situation.
The video was posted anonymously to Times Leader stories about a temporary PFA that Dallas Township resident Deana Pickett obtained against Morelli, her ex-boyfriend on Wednesday. The video has prompted extensive chatter in newspaper online comment sections and on local radio talk shows.
Pickett alleges Morelli stalked her numerous times and has refused to leave her alone. Morelli denies the accusations and said he looks forward to presenting his side during an Aug. 21 PFA hearing.
Morelli referred comment on the video to his attorney, Megan P. Maguire.
Maguire said legal action may be filed over the public release and distribution of the video. Morelli never agreed to be filmed outside the restaurant, and public dissemination of the video without his consent may constitute defamation, she said.
Pickett’s PFA filing refers to a video, but it’s unclear if it’s the same video posted to online stories and, if so, whether Pickett was involved in its release.
Pickett could not be reached for comment this afternoon. Her lawyer, Michael Beltrami, relayed through an office secretary that he has no knowledge of a video posted to stories and has not discussed that with his client.
The PFA said Pickett recorded a video of an incident that occurred July 9 at King’s Pizzeria and Restaurant in Fairview Township when Pickett and her 8-year-old daughter met another man, David Fey, and his daughter and her friend for dinner.
Pickett said she recorded video of Morelli on her cell phone and provided that to police when she reported it to them.
Morelli told a reporter earlier this week he also had contacted police. “I filed the same report the day after,” he said. “I had something thrown at me” and have people who said they witnessed it, added Morelli, who was not injured.