Sheriff Jonathan Held Faces Theft Charges Related to Electioneering While on Duty
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that the Westmoreland County Sheriff has been held for trial on theft charges following a preliminary hearing.
Sheriff Jonathan Held, 43, of Claridge, faces criminal charges for directing sheriff’s officers to seek and collect political contributions for his reelection campaign while on active duty. Held is charged with theft of services, theft by unlawful taking and conflict of interest. The conflict of interest charge is a felony.
“Law enforcement officers are sworn to protect and serve our communities – not to seek contributions for their political campaign while they’re on duty,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “That is theft – of tax dollars and the community’s right to public safety. No one is above the law. I’m pursuing this kind of public corruption wherever I find it across the Commonwealth.”
Beginning in 2015, Held assigned at least one deputy to solicit for donations for his “I Out Shot the Sheriff” campaign fundraiser while on duty. The officers – one of which estimated he spent four to six hours a week soliciting donations while on active duty – made phone calls during business hours and collected campaign contributions including checks, gift cards, firearms and other merchandise while in uniform and using a county-issued vehicle.
The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Bobbi Jo Wagner.
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