York mayor, solicitor meet to discuss repeat offenders, dropped charges

YORK -- Mayor Eddie Lee recently gave 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett 40 pages of cases with dropped or reduced charges and wants to know what happened in each incident.

In the wake of last month's gang-related fatal shooting, the two met at Lee's request to discuss the best ways to deal with repeat offenders in York.

Brackett is about a third of the way through the cases, some that date back to 2005, and said he'll schedule a follow up with Lee "sometime soon."

The meeting was in response to a letter Lee wrote expressing the town's concerns about repeat offenders who had their charges dropped or reduced.

"It seems that evidence against violent youths in our community has been collected by our officers, and your assistants have declined to prosecute these individuals," Lee wrote in the letter to Brackett. "Additionally, it is my understanding that when charges are dismissed, there is often a delay of up to a month before the York Police Department receives notification."

If the evidence provided by the city was insufficient, Lee said he'd like to know about it.

Brackett has since stressed the need for strong evidence to make strong cases.

Brackett said the meeting with Lee provided him the chance to share some of his concerns.

"He was very receptive to those, and I think I enlightened him on some issues he had previously been unaware of," Brackett said.

Brackett would not comment on specific issues.

"My preference is to try to work these things out between individuals," he said.

Some of the concerns also are about a pending case, which ethically he can't discuss, he said.

"It was a very frank and open conversation," Lee said.

During the meeting, Lee also stressed the need for more communication between the York Police Department and the solicitor's office.

"I told him that I thought better communication between his office and our police would help us all," Lee said.

Brackett said he's uncertain why the cases are resurfacing now.

"If it was a burning issue, why it's coming up now is unusual," Brackett said. "Be that as it may, we're going through it and we're finding out the particulars on those cases, and I'm happy to get back with the city and explain what happened in each one of them."