- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 23, 2016

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - Lancaster County officials are calling for their sheriff’s resignation amid claims he sent pornographic and inappropriate emails to a subordinate.

LNP newspaper reports (https://bit.ly/2bbHVfm) a county deputy sheriff filed a complaint in July against Sheriff Mark Reese, claiming he sent her explicit messages.

County commissioners say the 58-year-old sheriff admitted sending the emails, but Reese’s attorney tells the paper the county should conduct a full investigation and review emails sent to the sheriff.

The woman said that Reese’s attempts to coerce her into a sexual relationship began in 2014 and that the emails became “progressively graphic and harassing,” according to LNP.

While county commissioners cannot fire the elected official, the state Legislature can impeach him. Reese has not said whether he plans to step down.



The county has hired separate counsel for Reese, and taxpayers will bankroll his legal fees at a reduced rate.

“Many times the same counsel will represent the county and the individual county employees who are named as defendants. However, under some circumstances when the interests of the individual and the county diverge, it is necessary to appoint separate counsel,” County Solicitor Chris Hausner told LNP.

Attorney Andrew Bellwoar typically charges $405 an hour but will represent Reese for a reduced $225 hourly rate, commissioners said.

Commissioners say they are searching for ways to recoup the costs if they cannot prevent the county from paying Reese’s legal bills. Reese is on voluntary paid leave, and his attorney told LNP the sheriff is expected to return to work.

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Information from: LNP, https://lancasteronline.com

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