Attorney Lynne G. Bressi, 64, Pottsville, formerly employed by the Schuylkill County Court as a custody counselor in the Domestic Relations Department, was scheduled to go to trial next week to face charges regarding the manner in which she billed the county on each case.
However, she had a change of heart and entered a plea of nolo contendere (no defense) to two counts of criminal solicitation and one count each of theft by deception, receiving stolen property, tampering with public records and intimidation of a witness.
The plea was entered before Senior Judge Jerome P. Cheslock, of Monroe County. He is specially presiding because all the county judges excluded themselves from hearing the case. Cheslock fixed sentencing for Wednesday, Sept. 19. Bressi remains free on bail.
The county judges excused themselves because Bressi is a former court employee and her husband, Charles Bressi, also an attorney, served for many years as an assistant district attorney before becoming the law clerk of Judge John E. Domalakes.
President Judge William E. Baldwin, under whom Bressi worked, directed the Pottsville police to investigate her billing practices. The dispute was over how she billed the county $125 per hour in custody cases in which she did not have to make a ruling and a consent decree was awarded.
Captain Richard F. Wojciechowski conducted the investigation and filed the charges claiming she obtained $6,000 by falsely billing the county for holding conferences which never occurred from 2006 through 2009.
The state attorney general's office is handling the prosecution because Bressi's husband once worked in the county district attorney's office.