Lansford borough Councilman Lenny Kovach pleaded guilty in Carbon County court on Friday to two counts of hindering apprehension. Judge Steven Serfass sentenced Kovach, 44, to one year's probation, 36 hours of community service and to pay court costs and a $50 monthly supervision fee on each count. The sentences are to run concurrently.
Charges of obstructing administration of law and unsworn falsification to authorities were dropped In the plea bargain.
Assistant District Attorney Cynthia Dyrda-Hatton prosecuted the case; Attorney Paul Levy served as defense counsel.
According to an affidavit of probable cause and testimony at a June 16 preliminary hearing, the incident occurred in the early morning hours of Sept. 12, 2009, when Kovach was called by Tanya Gould, also of Lansford. Gould had been drinking, and backed into another car as she tried to pull out of a parking spot on West Ridge Street. Gould asked Kovach to pick her up and take her home.
At the preliminary hearing, before District Judge ing, before District Judge Casimir Kosciolek, Gould testified that Kovach met her outside a nearby bar and told her to crouch down on the floor of his truck so that no one would see her, three times denied to police that he knew where she was, and later told her to lie to police about why she was in his truck. Officer Jeff Ohl discovered Gould lying on the front seat of the truck when he shined his flashlight into the interior.
Levy asked Kosciolek to dismiss the charges, citing Gould's alcohol-hazed memory of the events and Kovach's statements that he was not hiding Gould, but helping her find her daughter. Levy also suggested police did not make clear that they were looking for Gould in connection with a criminal matter. Kosciolek denied the request.
At his plea hearing Friday, Kovach told Serfass that "I was wrong in what I did and I feel really bad about it."
Gould was charged with DUI in the incident. Her blood alcohol level, according to court documents, was 0.21 percent. The threshold for DUI is 0.08 percent.