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Lansford councilman facing five misdemeanor charges

  • Leonard S. Kovach
    Leonard S. Kovach
Published January 21. 2010 05:00PM

Charges were filed Wednesday at a magistrate's court against a member of Lansford Borough Council, alleging he interfered with the apprehension of a suspected DUI driver in his borough.

Leonard S. Kovach, 43, of West Ridge Street, has been charged with three counts of hindering apprehension or prosecution, one count of obstructing administration of law or other governmental function, and unsworn falsification to authorities.

It is alleged he attempted to assist Tanya Gould, 38, of West Ridge Street, following a reported hit-and-run accident which occurred at about 4:11 a.m. on Sept. 12 in the 200 block of West Ridge Street.

Gould was allegedly apprehended while lying on the seat of Kovach's pick-up truck after Kovach told police he didn't know her whereabouts.

Gould is facing two counts of driving while under the influence of alcohol and one count of accidents involving damage to unattended vehicles or property.

The charges were filed Wednesday at the office of District Judge Casimir T. Kosciolek in Lansford by Officer Jeff Ohl. Also on duty the morning of the incident was Officer David Midas.

The affidavit states that Officer Ohl was summoned to the accident on West Ridge Street near the Lansford AMVETS. He was advised that the vehicle involved was a yellow Nissan pick-up truck that was operated by Gould, a bartender at the AMVETS.

Ohl says in the affidavit he located the unattended vehicle in the parking lot of The Sports Zoo in the 400 block of West Ridge Street.

It is alleged that a maroon pick-up truck, operated by Kovach, drove past this location. Kovach, according to the affidavit, is "a friend of Tanya Gould."

The affidavit reads, "Shortly thereafter, I encountered Kovach's vehicle in the 200 block of West Front Street and I pulled up alongside and asked (Kovach) if he was aware of the location of Tanya Gould. Kovach seemed to be nervous or distracted, but replied by denying to know where I could find Gould."

Twice more he asked about the whereabouts of Gould, but Kovach denied knowing.

Ohl then allegedly shined his light into Kovach's vehicle, and, the affidavit says, Gould was lying across the front seat.

The affidavit states that Gould related to him, during general conversation, that after she struck the vehicle, she then called Kovach and he told her to park her vehicle and he would pick her up.

Later the same day, Kovach reportedly told police that he received a call from Gould because she was upset and couldn't find her daughter. He told police he picked her up in an attempt to locate the daughter and that's when he encountered the police.

He told police he didn't know Gould was involved in an accident.

Ohl said he was informed by Detective Jack Soberick that Gould approached him and told him the same story she told Officer Ohl, that Kovach told her to park the vehicle and he would pick her up.

In a subsequent interview, Gould reportedly told the police, "that at no time were she and Kovach looking for her daughter."

The affidavit alleges, "Following (Gould's) arrest, Kovach spoke with her on several occasions and told her that he was sticking to his story and she should do the same."

After being taken into custody, Gould received a blood-alcohol test at St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital, which indicated the content at .21 percent.

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