- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

LEBANON, Pa. (AP) - An elected clerk of courts in a central Pennsylvania county has been charged with repeatedly failing to send the state Department of Transportation paperwork about driving-under-the-influence convictions within a required period, state prosecutors said Thursday.

The attorney general’s office announced two criminal charges against Lebanon County Clerk Lisa Marie Arnold for allegedly failing to comply with paperwork requirements 203 times last year.

An investigator’s affidavit said Arnold told her underlings she was the only one who could send the documents to PennDOT, and that she kept the records in a plastic bag in a filing cabinet.

She was charged with obstruction and failure to comply with a court reporting rule.

“We were aware that the charges were coming,” said Arnold’s lawyer, Horace Ehrgood. “It wasn’t unexpected. We’re just going to handle them in due course.”

The affidavit said county officials repeatedly tried to address the DUI paperwork problem with Arnold, citing the county administrator who said county commissioners, judges, probation officials and attorneys have all had issues with Arnold’s neglect of duties.

“He stated they tried talking to her, writing memos and even filed a mandamus complaint,” a court petition seeking to force a government official to follow the law, the affidavit stated.

Arnold was not arraigned on the charges, which are being mailed to her, Ehrgood said. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next month.

Arnold, 48, is a Republican serving her third term.

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