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Was stolen fire money burned at big box?

February 20. 2013 3:05AM
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WILKES-BARRE – Court records say apple and pumpkin pies, sausages, watermelons, fruit bars and feminine-hygiene products were among the 500 items purchased by Wilkes-Barre Township Fire Chief John Paul Yuknavich with the department's credit card.

Luzerne County prosecutors have filed legal papers in county court saying the goods were consumed by either fire-department members or Yuknavich, 49, who is facing a trial Monday on theft charges.

State police at Wyoming alleged he stole $11,865 from the fire department's bank account and used the department's credit card at two Sam's Clubs for $3,706 in personal purchases.

Whether a jury will see and hear about the alleged stolen money and personal purchases remains to be seen.

Yuknavich's attorney, Barry Dyller, is for the second time asking a judge to dismiss the case, claiming prosecutorial misconduct.

In the latest filing, Dyller claims prosecutors served a subpoena for Wilkes-Barre Township Business Administrator Michael Revitt, instructing Revitt to report to the courthouse on Monday with unspecified documents.

Dyller said the courthouse was closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The commonwealth does not possess authority to subpoena witness or documents for a date which is not a scheduled date for a hearing or trial, Dyller stated. The commonwealth has used official judicial process illegally in order to obtain documents without the necessity (of) seeking a search warrant from a judicial officer upon a showing of probable cause.

Dyller said Revitt has refused to provide him with a copy of the subpoena and neither did prosecutors provide it.

Dyller attempted to have the case dismissed, saying prosecutors failed to schedule a trial for Yuknavich within one year of the filing of charges. Yuknavich was charged on Dec. 6, 2011.

Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. on Jan. 4 denied Dyller's request, ruling part of the delay in scheduling the trial was a dispute over the release of documents between prosecutors and Dyller.

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