Attorney Lynn Bressi, Pottsville, who was thecustody hearing officer for Schuylkill County with an office in the courthouse in Pottsville, resigned last week and is now under investigation by Pottsville police pertaining to monies received for legal professional services.
Bressi was hired by President Judge William E. Baldwin, and held the position since 1991. Shortly after she resigned Baldwin sent a memo to District Attorney James P. Goodman to investigate the dealings in her office.
Goodman turned the investigation over to the Pottsville police because Bressi's husband, Attorney Charles Bressi, worked as an assistant district attorney for many years before resigning and taking a position as law clerk for Judge John E. Domalakes.
Baldwin would not comment on his reasons for the request because of the ongoing investigation but other sources claim because of the scandal in Luzerne County the judge wanted to make sure things were proper and requested the investigation. The issue is believed to be charges for custody hearings.
Bressi's average charge was $125 per hour a hearing and $100 for stipulation agreements reached in lieu of a hearing.
Controller Melinda Kantner pointed out Bressi is not a county employee but had a contract with the county to administer the services. She said the request was made by her office some time ago to have attorneys who are appointed by court in various matters, such as representing defendants in criminal cases when there is a conflict with the public defender's department. In the past attorneys were appointed by the court to represent people or the county on certain matters and turned in a bill for their services. Now a contract is drawn specifying the payments for services.
Invoices in the controller's office show for the month of April, 2009, Bressi received $1,187.50 for hearings and the invoice was approved by court administrator Lois A. Wallauer for payment.
For the month of May 2009 Bressi turned in an invoice showing 26 stipulation agreements reached, 21 other actions for 47 dispositions, and turned in an invoice for $5,275, which was approved by Wallauer.
Kantner also reported her records show payments to Bressi in 2007 totaled $61,575; in 2008, $81,376.75; and in 2009 $64,807.25.