Friends, it is difficult to watch the wheels of justice grind to a halt, but in this case, sadly, it was not surprising. It may take a little time, but we will get the wheels rolling again. We will not give up. It is actually encouraging to see the opposition use any tactic they can to avoid arguing this case on its merits.
Times-Tribune, Scranton, PA
Kyle Wind, Staff Writer
March 20, 2015
The clashes escalated when Mr. Yeager tried to call J. Lawrence Hosmer, a civil/geotechnical engineer with Environmental Resources Management in Maryland, as an expert witness.
The consultant has been in the business for about 43 years and specializes in waste management, Mr. Hosmer told the zoning board. He has been involved with hundreds of landfill projects of all types, all the way from design and permitting to construction in many states.
However, when Mr. Yeager asked the zoning board to accept him as an expert witness, Mr. Jonas objected because he had not studied Keystone landfill or Dunmore’s zoning law.
Although Mr. Yeager planned to ask him general questions about landfills in an effort to establish Keystone is a structure under the zoning ordinance — a key part of the Friends of Lackawanna argument, the zoning board rejected the witness and agreed not to accept his testimony — eliciting a collective groan from the audience.
After that, the Friends of Lackawanna side indicated they thought the deck was stacked against them.
“If this board carries out this course of conduct where it denies our residents the ability to event put their case up and to even present a record … it would be a deprivation of the due process rights of the residents,” Mr. Yeager said.
The attorney then asked the zoning board if any of the members there on Thursday night have any prohibited conflicts of interest under the state Ethics Act, a question that drew laughter from the audience.
After an initial denial, Mr. Yeager read the definition of conflicts in state law to the board. Each of Chairman Dino Sabatell and members Terrence McDonnell, Gerard Longo, Carmen Scrimalli and Peter Sabia, Jr.said they did not have any banned business or family interests.