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Lancaster DA Craig Stedman

FILE: Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman, center, speaks to reporters Dec. 6, 2018 about the OCtober 26 multi-vehicle crash that killed two Warwick High School students. AT left is Lititz Borough Police Chief Kerry Nye. At right, Lancaster County Assistant District Attorney Jared Hinsey. (Brett Sholtis/WITF News)

(Harrisburg) — The Lancaster County District Attorney is responding with an open letter to a statement by the county Board of Commissioners that it would be reviewing some of his actions. 

LNP reported this week that DA Craig Stedman has leased an SUV since 2016 with money from the office’s drug forfeiture fund. The $21,000 spent to lease and maintain the vehicle is a small fraction of the fund, though the money was spent during a time when Stedman asked county commissioners for more funding for the county’s Drug Task Force, which is supported by the fund. 

In response to the report, the Board of Commissioners issued a statement, saying it appeared Stedman went outside of the county procurement process and that they would initiate a review of the lease and use of the vehicle. 

Listen to an interview with LNP reporter Carter Walker on the story here:

In an open letter sent Thursday, Stedman defends the lease of the vehicle as within drug forfeiture law and notes the county controller authorized the lease in 2016.

“You know that the law regarding the use of assets forfeited from drug dealers and criminals is clear. It allows exactly what was done: use drug dealer assets to fight crime, exactly as have countless law enforcement officials done across the state and nation. Yet this board released a misleading and demonstrably false statement that I procured this vehicle in secret and without authority. The fact is that the Controller’s Office not only approved the purchase of this vehicle and all expenses related to it, but there has been documentary proof of this fact for over three years in his office and mine,” Stedman wrote. 

Read the full response from the district attorney below. 

Open letter from Lancaster … by on Scribd