GREENSBURG (KDKA) – Agents with the state attorney general’s office raided the Westmoreland County Sheriff’s Office Friday morning.
Sources confirm that agents raided the personal offices of both Sheriff Jonathan Held and Chief Deputy Patricia Fritz.
As agents arrived, Fritz allegedly locked her office door and fled the building. Sources also tell KDKA that Fritz had changed the locks on her door recently and was the only one with keys for it.
Later, she returned and was escorted to another part of the building for questioning. She was not placed in handcuffs. By the time she returned, agents had called a locksmith to open the door.
“The Attorney General’s office couldn’t wait and in a dramatic fashion, they called a locksmith and decided that they wanted to drill the lock,” defense attorney Ryan Tutera said.
As part of the raid, agents seized several computers, files and other items.
This raid is part of an ongoing investigation regarding the sheriff’s department.
Held is accused of using several sheriff’s office employees to help in his 2015 re-election campaign. And, the Pennsylvania Attorney General says the staffers did political work for Held while they were supposed to be on the job.
Last week, he was ordered to stand trial in the case.
Several deputies testified during Held’s preliminary hearing that Fritz was deeply involved in recordkeeping and gathering of fundraising materials and prizes in Held’s campaign efforts.
“You know, it’s curious. If these computers were integral in their investigation, why didn’t they take these computers when they had this information months ago?” Tutera said.
Held’s office was also locked. He was not at work on Friday, but he did arrive in time to open up the office for the Attorney General’s agents.
The Attorney General’s office declined any comment on the events, other than to say it is an ongoing investigation.