Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli is seeking to remove two elected constables from office, one in Arona and another in New Kensington.
Ziccarelli, a first-term Republican who took office in January after ousting Democrat John Peck — who served as the county’s top prosecutor for a quarter century — said the lawsuits were filed this week to ensure that elected officeholders are eligible to do so.
“The need to file such actions is rarely presented, and the filing of these complaints does not represent a new investigative focus for my office,” Ziccarelli said in a statement released Wednesday. “As with previous matters handled by this office, these investigations were prompted by outside complaints and investigated by the county detectives.”
According to the lawsuit against Constable Daniel Goodson of New Kensington, he is ineligible to serve because of prior felony convictions in Pennsylvania, Maryland and in federal court.
Goodson, a 48-year-old Democrat, defeated Republican Ron Balla by 54 votes in November to serve as constable in New Kensington’s 4th Ward.
According to court records, Goodson has criminal convictions that date to 1997 for crimes including retail theft and bad checks.
Goodson could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Walter Geiger, 61, a Democrat, previously served as a constable in Arona and was reelected in November with 11 write-in votes. Ziccarelli claims Geiger has not lived in Arona since November 2018 but instead resides in North Huntingdon.