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Cambria election office under state investigation

EBENSBURG — Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the Cambria County Election and Voter Registration Office after a search warrant was served June 3.

After being pressed for information by one member of the public during Thursday’s commissioners’ meeting, county officials said the Sheriff’s Office is also being investigated.

But county officials did not state what organization is investigating the Sheriff’s Office or whether the two investigations referenced are the same, leaving residents asking for answers.

“There clearly are investigations going on in the Sheriff’s Offices,” Cambria County solicitor William Barbin said. “We are not an investigative agency. We don’t have detectives, and we don’t have the means to do an investigation. … (State organizations) have a right to keep their investigations confidential — even state police or anyone else. That’s standard for all investigations.”

Resident John DeBartola questioned the commissioners on the status of the investigation, citing concerns regarding the race for county sheriff.

DeBartola said he believes there was alleged theft of service by a candidate for county sheriff, whose name was not stated, and DeBartola questioned if the investigation was for the sheriff’s race.

“The people have a right to know,” DeBartola said.

No criminal charges have been filed against Tom Owens, Kirk Moss or Don Robertson, who all appeared on the ballot for Cambria County sheriff.

Barbin did not speak further on the issue, stating that it is in the hands of the state police.

“They will make a decision, and we will always comply with people who have the authority in these kinds of things,” Barbin said.

State Police Cpl. Brent Miller confirmed Thursday that the warrant was executed on the Election Office, but he declined to provide any additional information.

“I can confirm the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation served a sealed search warrant at the Cambria County Election Office on Thursday, June 3, 2021,” Miller said.

Miller said the investigation is ongoing and active, and additional information will be released when it is available.

Mirror Staff Writer Calem Illig is at 814-946-7535.

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