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GREENSBURG (KDKA) – A judge dropped one of the main charges in the trial of Westmoreland County Sheriff Jonathan Held on Thursday.
Held has been charged by the state Attorney General’s Office for allegedly using his staff to perform campaign activities on the clock.
The judge dismissed a theft charge after the prosecution failed to prove that it occurred.
- RELATED STORY: Trial Begins For Westmoreland County Sheriff Jonathan Held
Held’s trial began on Tuesday when Attorney General Bobbi Jo Wagner delivered her opening statement against Held.
“What the case is really about is his [Held’s] ego and how he believes he’s above the law,” said Wagner. “[Held] used his employees for his campaign. County personnel worked on county time, it was taxpayers money, the juror’s money.”
In 2015 and 2016, Held allegedly directed on-duty deputies to pick up merchandise, food and money to be used for campaign events. Prosecutors also maintain Held would punish those who did not help out with punitive unpopular duties.
Held’s Defense Attorney Ryan Tutera said, “The elephant in the room was just dismissed, count number two. That’s why we were in there just now.”
Closing arguments are set for Friday.